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SIGHTSEEING SIGHTSEEING PLACES TO TO STAY STAY & & EAT EAT PLACES n DIVING n DIVING & & FISHING FISHING n HIKING n HIKING & & BOATING BOATING n SHOPPING n SHOPPING
n n n n
St. Martin & St. Barts
2nd Edition Lynne Sullivan
dventure Guide to
Lynne M. Sullivan
HUNTER PUBLISHING, INC.
130 Campus Drive, Edison NJ 08818 732-225-1900, 800-255-0343, fax 732-417-0482 firstname.lastname@example.org 4176 Saint-Denis, Montréal, Québec Canada H2W 2M5 514-843-9447; fax 515-843-9448; email@example.com The Boundary, Wheatley Road, Garsington Oxford, OX44 9EJ England 01865-361122; fax 01865-361133 firstname.lastname@example.org ISBN 1-58843-595-4 © 2007 Lynne M. Sullivan Maps by Kim André, Lissa Dailey & Toni Carbone, © 2007 Hunter Publishing, Inc. Cartoons by Joe Kohl Cover photograph: © JG Photography/Alamy Photographs courtesy St Martin Tourist Bureau, St Barth Properties, Dream Beaches, sxmsaintmartin.com, saint-martin-online. com. wiol.com, sbhonline.com, travel-images.com, Don Wiss and Paul Sullivan. For complete information about the hundreds of other travel guides offered by Hunter Publishing, visit us at www.hunterpublishing.com All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Brief extracts to be included in reviews or articles are permitted. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this book is correct, but the publisher and authors do not assume, and hereby disclaim, liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors, omissions, misleading information or potential problems caused by information in this guide, even if such errors or omissions are a result of negligence, accident or any other cause. 4 3 2 1
Introduction Which One’s Best? The Land & Sea Geography, Topography & Ecology Weather Plant Life Wildlife Birds Marine Life The People Language Cuisine Music A Shared History Early Times After Columbus European Colonization – the Short Version Sugar & Slavery The 20th Century Travel Information When to Go Celebrations, Events & Holidays Carnival Travel Documents Arrival Returning Home Departure Tax Health & Safety Crime Money Matters Currency ATMs & Banks Going Metric Electricity Time Telephones On-Island Phone Cards To Call the Islands 1 3 3 3 5 7 13 15 17 20 20 20 23 25 25 26 26 29 31 33 33 33 38 40 42 43 44 44 46 48 48 49 50 51 52 52 53 53
Planning Your Trip Tourism Offices Making Reservations Finding & Evaluating a Travel Agent Insure Your Trip Travelers With Special Needs Getting There By Air By Cruise Ship Package Vacations Getting Around St. Martin The French-Dutch Split Official Business Getting There By Air Getting Around Getting Married Exploring the Island Taxi Tours Group Sightseeing Tours Independent Touring Adventures on Water Best Beaches Boardsurfing, Windsurfing & Kiteboarding Sailing Motorboat Trips & Rentals Water Toys Deep-Sea Fishing Adventures Underwater Popular Dive Sites Adventures on Land Horseback Riding Hiking Mountain & Off-Road Biking Tennis Golf Shopping Top Shops in Philipsburg Best Boutiques in Marigot Where to Stay
54 54 55 56 56 59 60 60 62 63 64 69 72 74 75 75 76 81 83 83 83 85 104 104 121 123 128 129 131 132 133 138 138 139 141 142 143 143 145 152 156
Private Villas Resorts & Hotels Accommodations Directory On the Dutch Side On the French Side Where to Eat Restaurant Directory In Grand Case Restaurant Directory In Marigot Restaurant Directory In Philipsburg In Simpson Bay Nightlife Popular Clubs & Bars Casinos Island Facts & Numbers St. Barts A Small Island Long Ignored Official Business Getting There By Air By Inter-Island Ferry Water Taxi Getting Around Getting Married Exploring St. Barts Organized Tours Taxi Tours Independent Touring Adventures on Water Best Beaches Jet Skiing & Water-Skiing Surfing & Kiteboarding Boating Deep-Sea Fishing Adventures Underwater Adventures on Land Horseback Riding Hiking Tennis
156 158 160 161 172 187 189 189 195 195 199 199 201 206 207 208 209 217 219 221 221 221 224 224 224 227 228 228 228 229 243 243 246 247 248 248 249 251 251 251 252
Martin Philipsburg Marigot St. Jean Lorient Pointe Milou Anse des Cayes Anse des Flamands Grande Saline Beach Grand Cul-de-Sac Nightlife Island Facts & Numbers Index 252 253 253 261 261 263 264 266 281 283 284 290 292 293 293 294 294 295 295 297 303 Maps Lesser Antilles St. Maarten/St.vi n Contents Exercise Facilities & Spa Services Shopping Top Shops Where to Stay Private Villas Resorts & Hotels The French Star System Accommodations Directory Where to Eat Restaurant Directory In Gustavia St. Barts Gustavia 2 70 87 92 218 231 .
Introduction Introduction S t. Barts is a quick inter-island hop by ferry or plane. Martin to refer to the island as a whole. with about 36 square miles. But most everyone else refers to it as Saint Barts. Barts. but it’s easy to do and relatively inexpensive. The Dutch call their part Sint Maarten. The French call theirs Saint-Martin. Think of them as the pivot joint between the Greater Antilles. at the top of an archipelago known as the Lesser Antilles. You may want to divide your vacation between the two. and the Lesser Antilles. In this book. gargle the “r. Saint Martin is several times larger. divided almost equally between France (20 square miles) and the Netherlands (16 square miles). Saint Barts is a tiny scrap of land covering about eight square miles. This is the smallest land area in the world to be governed by two nations. which extend north-to-south from Anguilla to Grenada. and St. 150 miles east (and n Cuisine 23 n Music slightly south) of Puerto 25 n Shared History Rico. . Martin is easily reached from the US. we use St. You may see it spelled Saint-Barth (the French abbreviation). n The Land & the Sea The People 20 n They are located 20 miles 20 apart. but in this book we abbreviate American/English-style and use simply St.” and say sahn bar tay leh MEE). which stretch westto-east from Cuba to the Virgin Islands. or choose one island as your home base and take a day-trip to the other. Martin IN THIS CHAPTER are two of the most popu3 lar islands in the Caribbean. Barts and St. St. It’s an overseas région of France. Day-tripping won’t allow you a proper visit. and old-timers still call it Saint-Barthélemy (pinch your nose.
On St. but don’t expect breathtaking mountains. chic boutiques. you’ll get a half-dozen zealous votes for each. Martin are not gorgeous overall. If you seek a lot of action. and both have stunning beaches and picturesque vistas. Martin. or idyllic rivers and lakes. Barts and St. The Land & Sea n Geography. Martin.Which One’s Best? n 3 Introduction n Which One’s Best? If you ask a dozen visitors who’ve stayed on both islands which they prefer. go for St. and each government is enforcing new conservation laws. PRESERVING PARADISE Eco-tourists probably will be happier elsewhere in the Caribbean. Topography & Ecology Honestly. en- . St. Barts fans gush over luxurious little hotels. French-side restaurants. Barts is for you. and sensational duty-free shops. cascading waterfalls. Both the French and the Dutch have set up marine reserves to oversee management of the coral reefs and coastlines. restore historical sites. exquisite meals. lush rainforests. Those who favor St. but St. St. Martin and St. Martin rave about the Dutch-side casinos. Each has lovely areas. Additional organizations have sprung up to protect wildlife habitats. the Nature Foundation (Dutch) and AGRNSM (French) have taken on the demanding chore of preserving the island’s natural assets for future generations to enjoy. and camera-shy celebrities seen lounging on the beaches. Need more peace and quiet? St. Barts have made recent strides in the direction of protecting and enhancing what nature provided.
The southwestern part is dominated by Simpson Bay Lagoon. Gustavia. They ring a dry. golden-sand beaches that are protected from the elements by reefs and bluffs. The island’s incineration plant gives off clean steam that is converted to potable water. Results of these joint environmental efforts are visible throughout the island. is built around a natural harbor prized by sailors seeking shelter for multi-million-dollar yachts. A revitalized seafront area occupies a former dumping ground for old cars and appliances. Most of the terrain on St. and clear the island of debris. Smaller. and public land. Barts. On St. the capital. prevent pollution of the sea. Organized volunteer groups periodically spend a morning collecting debris from roadsides. the principal Dutch city. one of the largest landlocked bodies of water in the Caribbean. Philipsburg. well-groomed villages dress up the rolling countryside with charming houses. the hotel association. and preserve natural resources. lovely gardens. the Environmental Commission heads up an ongoing campaign to maintain the island’s reputation as a clean. An athletic stadium now sits on ground that was once a trash heap. arid. Lavish private vacation villas and year-round homes are tucked discretely among a scattering of palm trees and hibiscus bushes. and lovely bays with sandy beaches cut into the shoreline.391 feet at Pic Paradis (called Paradise Peak by English speakers). safe vacation destination. beaches. rocky interior topped by 938-foot Morne du Vitet. Tiny St.4 n The Land & Sea courage sustainable tourism. and covered in desert vegetation or man-made structures. Martin is low. and delightful shops. . Elected officials. Rolling hills in the center of the island rise to 1. Barts has deep coves with long. and the businesses community are pro-active participants in programs designed to handle waste. backs up to a huge salt pond.
The Caribbean Sea maintains a temperature of 80E. and only one in three ever reaches land. Winter. Rainfall You’ll notice a greater difference in seasonal rainfall. is rainy season. Hurricanes Hurricanes and strong tropical storms get a lot of press. you’re more likely to encounter a severe storm on the eastern coast of the United States than in the Caribbean. Both St. Summer. but each still receives up to 40 inches of rain per year (about half of the amount that falls on greener islands).Weather n 5 Introduction n Weather Temperatures This is the Caribbean. from December through April. Residents of St. Some of the best reports are posted on the following websites: . Records show that most major hurricanes deteriorate at sea. The weather is perfect. However. but the average for January is 83E and July’s standard is a balmy 86E. Barts say they enjoy a big season of small rains and a small season of big rains. check with reliable sources for the Caribbean forecast just before you leave home. throughout the year. but the truth is that dangerous tempests are rare. plus or minus a degree or two. Martin and St. is dry season. which runs from May through November. Barts have an arid terrain. most days have several hours of sunshine. Martin and St. even during the wet season. In fact. but they are usually about 72E in January and 76E in July. and humidity is offset by steady trade winds. You can count on a year-round average temperature of 77EF. Nighttime temperatures have been recorded as low as 55E. On the off-chance that nasty weather is brewing. Daytime highs occasionally reach 90E.
They’re based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the Air Force Reserve (www.hurricanehunters. Mississippi.noaa.000 feet above the earth.000 to 40. You can view their photos at www.gov n National Hurricane Center – www. n Typhoons and hurricanes are basically the same type of storm. stormcarib.com n The Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory – www. The storm dominates the ocean surface and lower atmosphere over tens of thousands of square miles. The entire system is pushed by upper-atmosphere winds 10. They are called typhoons in the western part of the North Pacific. as well as the Atlantic. and their force weakens quickly when they move over land or cold water. n Hurricane-force winds flow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere toward the storm’s center.6 n The Land & Sea n The Caribbean Hurricane Network – www. and since 1944 they’ve been flying directly into storms and hurricanes. Around the rim of the eye.com HURRICANE FACTS n A hurricane is a storm with winds at a constant speed of 74 miles per hour or more.hurricanehunters. n Hurricanes form only over warm tropical oceans. you can follow the storm with the Hurricane Hunters.nhc.aoml. In the eastern part of the North Pacific. These winds blow in a large spiral around a relatively calm center of extremely low pressure known as the eye. . winds may gust to more than 200 miles per hour. gov ! Once a name is given to a tropical depression (an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of less than 39 miles per hour).noaa.com).
Although there are no tropical forests. The Hurricane Capital of the Caribbean is the island of Bimini in the Bahamas. A study conducted in 1994 classified hundreds of wild indigenous species. and bushes. they are known as tropical cyclones. Baker. so the western side of both islands is drier than the eastern side. especially after a rain shower when wild flowers burst into bloom and grasses turn deep green. but they occasionally do hit Mexico’s west coast. and Curacao. and 23 became major hurricanes. and Spanish countries. they are called hurricanes. have never been hit by a major hurricane. they used words from the international phonetic alphabet – Able. Aruba. Bonaire. The period from 1995 to 2000 was the busiest on record. but 10 named storms have made near-miss passes. English. In the rest of the world. as well as naturalized flora that have adapted to local conditions. nutrient-poor soil that supports mostly cacti and succulents. The arid hillsides have shallow. No hurricane has ever hit California. forecasters began alternating male and female names common to French. Beginning in 1979. It has been hit with 16 major hurricanes. Charlie. At first. of which 49 became hurricanes. Fourteen hurricanes and 27 named storms made 2005 a record-breaking year. with 79 named storms. the countryside is lovely. The eastern side of both islands is greener and sustains a variety of plants.Plant Life n 7 Introduction n n n n n Caribbean. but still. Forecasters began naming hurricanes in 1950. Barts from east to west. Women’s names common to English-speaking countries started being used in 1953. n Plant Life Wind and rain move across St. etc. and Gulf of Mexico. Martin and St. located off the northern coast of South America. several areas have woodlands . trees.
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with forest-like features. Sea-grape trees and palm trees grow in sandy soil along the shores, and a variety of mangroves and shrubs thrive in the salty water and mud found in coastal swamps and inland salt pans. Some of the plants that are typically regarded as indigenous to the Caribbean were actually brought to the islands by Europeans. For example, the coconut palm was imported to the West Indies from Flamboyant tree the Pacific islands by British colonists who intended to harvest the fruit as a commercial crop. Today, a wide assortment of palm trees grow on all the Caribbean islands. They are characterized by compound leaves (called fronds) that top a trunk-like stem. New leaves grow from the middle of the stem, as older leaves bow outward and eventually fall off. As you travel through St. Martin and St. Barts, look for the following plants and trees growing in private gardens and on landscaped resort property, as well as in the countryside: Flamboyant trees, native to Madagascar, have small feathery leaves and clusters of red-orange flowers. The blooms last from May until September, and black seed pods dangle from bare branches after the tree sheds its leaves and flowers in the fall. Frangipanis may be bushes or small trees, depending on the variety. Frangipani
They are native to the Antilles and tropical areas of the Americas. During the blooming season in summer, look for pointed waxy leaves and yellow, red, or white flowers with a scent similar to jasmine. The flowers are edible and sometimes used in desserts and jams, but the sap is toxic. Latanier or sabal palms produce fronds used for weaving hats. Although this cottage industry is no longer a significant part of the islands’ economy, latanier groves still stand at Lorient on St. Barts. Gaiac trees or lignum vitae are native to the Antilles. These small trees are now a protected species, but the wood was once used in construction. The sap is said to relieve arthritis pain, and the bark was once touted as a treatment for syphilis. You will recognize this tree by its glossy green leaves, purple or blue flowers, and small decorative orange fruit. Trumpet trees (also called poui or poirier) are native to tropical parts of the Americas and now grow wild on the islands. They have adjusted well to arid conditions, but cannot survive strong winds. You will see their spectacular mauve, pink, yellow or white flowers only from Trumpet tree April to June. Manchineel trees (also called mancenillier and mancinella) are tall, native to the West Indies, and often found growing in sandy soil on beaches. While this is a lovely shade tree, the sap is extremely caustic and can cause burns and blisters if it touches your skin or eyes. Don’t stand under the tree during a rain shower, and don’t pick up the apple-like fruit, which is extremely poisonous. The anaconda or geranium tree is a Caribbean native that grows well in dry soil and salty air. It has gorgeous red flowers
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that bloom in clustered bouquets year-round, and its fruit looks similar to white plums. The royal palm is, as its name implies, a stately tree and the largest of the many varieties of palms. You will recognize it by its smooth, ringed trunk that bulges in the middle, and its thick fronds, which are made up of long, curved leaves. Seagrape trees are the shrub-like plants that grow on beaches and along the shoreline. When they grow in more protected inland areas, they often reach heights of 18 to 24 feet. You can eat the small, reddish fruit that grows among the round, waxy leaves, Seagrape but it’s quite acidic. Aloe or aloe vera is a succulent plant that was brought to the islands from Mediterranean countries and is valued for its powerful medicinal qualities. Although its sap is often used as a laxative, you will probably find it more useful for soothing sunburned skin. It grows wild in dry, rocky soil, and gardeners include it in landscapes. It is also grown commercially. Recognize it by its long, fleshy, serrated leaves that grow straight out of the ground. From January to June, it produces yellow flowers. Night-blooming cereus is the name of the cactus that produces big white flowers late in the afternoon from February to July. Mammillaria nivosa is a round, fuzzy cactus with yellow thorns that grows among rocks like a ground cover. It is endangered and rarely found on islands other than St. Barts, St. Martin, and Barbuda.
Yellow prickly pear is actually a military hero. In 1773, French residents were asked to plant rows of this barbed cactus along the shores of St. Barts to discourage British invasion by sea. It produces an edible red fruit and bright yellow flowers. Thornless prickly pear or barbary fig is a Mexican cactus with flat, purple, thornless stems that Yellow prickly pear bear orange flowers. It grows well in dry soil and salty air, and you will often see it in landscaped areas. Stapelia gigantea is often mistaken for a cactus, but it is actually part of the milkweed family. Its small olive-green stems bare large starfish-shaped yellow flowers with reddish stalks. Flies love the stuff and buzz around collecting pollen, which they transport from plant to plant. Englishman’s head is a funny little cactus that grows on rocky cliffs and hillsides. You’ll know when you see it because it looks just like its name – a round green head wearing a bright red thorny cap. You can eat the red fruits, which are tart and similar to cranberries. Yucca is native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. It has smooth, rigid stems that taper to a point; white flowers cluster in the middle of the plant from April to July. Golden trumpet or yellow bell comes from South America, and its trumpet-shaped yellow flowers are toxic. You often see it climbing rock walls, and gardeners sometimes trim it into a shrub. Purple allamanda is native to the African tropics and Yucca resistent to drought. Its large
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rose-colored flowers bloom yearround, making it popular with gardeners. Bougainvillea is synonymous with the Caribbean, although it came to the region from Brazil. The robust thorny vine climbs and creeps everywhere and is easily recognized by its brilliantly colored bracts (leaves) that surround a tiny, inconspicuous white flower. Cotton was once grown commercially in the Caribbean, and Bougainvillea some of the knotty shrubs still grow wild on the islands. You may see birds building nests with the soft, white cotton that surrounds black seeds inside tough green seed pods. Hibiscus originates from Asia and islands in the Pacific, but grows rampant in the Caribbean. The hardy shrub is often used as a hedge, and diverse varieties produce a profusion of colorful flowers. The spectacular blooms each last only one day. Mexican creeper is also called chain of love because of its tendency to embrace fences, walls, signposts, and other plants. After a rain shower, the twining vine Hibiscus bursts forth with gorgeous pink flowers. You gotta love it. Oleander flowers are toxic but lovely. The decorative shrub comes from the Mediterranean and produces yellow, white, or pink blooms year-round.
Bengale clockvine, from India, and bluebird vine, from tropical areas of the Americas, produce hanging bouquets of flowers. Clockvine blooms are purple. Bluebird blooms are blue. Each has adapted well to the Caribbean, and you will see Oleander them in decorative landscapes as well as growing wild along the roadsides.
ST. MARTIN’S LEGENDARY GUAVABERRIES
Guavaberry liqueur has been made in St. Martin homes by many generations, but in the mid-1990s it went commercial. The Guavaberry Emporium (see page 90), located in an historic cedar house on Frontstreet in Philipsburg, is the primary retailer for the beloved folk drink, which is made from oakaged rum and wild guavaberries. The guavaberry is an odd little fruit that grows without stems directly onto the branches of flowering trees found high in the hills at the center of the island. The bittersweet, grape-like berries have a center seed surrounded by juicy transparent flesh and a thin skin that changes from pale green to orange or dark red as they ripen. While guavaberry trees live on other Caribbean islands, as well as in the Pacific, they aren’t widely cultivated because the trees are difficult to grow, the fruit ripens at unpredictable times, and harvesting the berries is a laborious manual chore. After the fruit is gathered, it is washed and put into wooden barrels, where it ages in a mix of rum and sugar. The resulting liqueur has a woody, bittersweet flavor.
but the skinny. you may see products made from their shiny shells in markets. porpoises.14 n The Land & Sea n Wildlife St. except when the females come onto land to lay eggs. where they are fed and treated as pets. do breathe air. Barts are not inhabited by indigenous land animals. Don’t buy them. you may spot marine mammals such as dolphins. which migrate through the area from December until May. All species are endangered and require 15 to 50 years to reach a reproductive age. long-tailed carnivores turned out to have a voracious appetite for beneficial reptiles and ground-nesting birds. Iguanas were also brought to the islands by European colonists. They live in the ocean. Martin and St. the mongooses reproduced beyond expectations and became a real Mongoose nuisance. and you may see them swimming along the surface of the water. . and whales. Since there were no natural predators. but these large lizard-like creatures are rare and becoming rarer. with their spiny backs. You will probably see them only on resort grounds. Despite the ban on hunting sea turtles. while not mammals. so their nesting grounds on sandy beaches are protected by wildlife societies. Europeans brought mongooses to the islands to eat troublesome snakes and rats. At sea. they are strict vegetarians and don’t care to share space with humans. Turtles Sea turtles. but they do have a few imports. While iguanas look prehistorically scary.
which threatens their dwindling population. but most are in the five-foot range. grow to about three feet in diameter.Birds n 15 Introduction Leatherbacks. Green turtles have a rounded head and. their favorite food. They grow to about three feet in diameter and weigh an average of 130 pounds. . n Birds Native and migrating birds are the islands’ true wildlife treasure. tease you while you try to nap on the beach. A mature leatherback can weigh 1. long beak. Hawksbill turtles are recognized by their hawk-like beaks. They are much heavier. Poachers snatch turtle eggs from nests on beaches. where they dine on crabs and snails and encrusted organisms that they scrape off rocks with their pointed noses. In addition. however. have a leatherlike skin over their backs instead of a shell. many of them die when they eat discarded plastic bags. The following will help you identify a few of the most common winged wildlife: n The brown pelican is grayish-brown with a long neck.000 pounds or more. They land on your table when you eat outdoors. It’s usually seen feeding along the shore. and short legs. like the hawksbill. and steal small items off your patio when you’re not looking. and prefer to live in tall sea grasses rather than near reefs because they are herbivorous grazers. and you don’t need to be a birder to be impressed by the vast number and variety of species that live on or migrate through the Lesser Antilles. The largest one on record measured 10 feet from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. which they Leatherback hatchling mistake for jellyfish. You are most likely to see them swimming around reefs. the largest of the sea turtles.
They love sugar and will make themselves at home on your outdoor table. These birds are pirates. They are jet-black. stealing prey from other birds.16 n The Land & Sea n n n n n Magnificent frigate birds (magnificent is part of its name) have an extraordinary wingspan. and you can discern their sex by the color of their throats. which can reach more than six feet. The small green-backed heron has a distinctive call and gray-green feathers. while cattle egrets (usually sitting on cows) have white plumage and a tuft of orange feathers on their head. The great heron has long legs and a long black feather growing from its white head. Snowy egrets are white with black legs. The kingfisher is blue with a white breast and a ruffled tuft on its head. and they hunt everywhere on the islands. and dives into the surf to catch fish. the females’ are white. It floats in the air looking for food. Bananaqui ts are little birds with dark feathers on its back and a bright yellow throat and breast. . The males’ are red.
On St. white faces and black-edged wings. Martin and St. Barts. with grayish-brown feathers and black-and-white speckled necks. and the Antillean-crested hummingbird. St. n Royal and least terns live on the islands. Pelican Key and Grand Etang on St. Martin. Their tails are forked. Look for brown pelicans. Both types have gray underfeathers. neck. and common turtledoves. royal terns and least terns at Fort Amsterdam. Martin. home to 13 species of nesting Antilles birds. pearly-pink shells are favorite collector’s items. with brown backs and pink-tinged breasts. and the meat is the key ingredient in many Caribbean recipes. You can often see islanders cleaning the meat from the shells near Bobby’s Marina at Great Bay Beach in Philipsburg. and head. look for endangered least terns at the Salt Pond in Saline. The royals are larger and have an orange bill. right. n Two species of hummingbird are often seen feeding among flowers: the green-throated Carib. Barts are teeming with life. . Conch (say konk) is one of the most versatile and popular sea creatures. n Two types of dove live on the islands: Zenaida doves. n Marine Life The shallow warm waters surrounding St.Marine Life n n 17 Introduction Broad-winged hawks are frequently seen soaring in wooded areas. Their large.
but may grow to 15 inches. you’re most likely to recognize the following species at popular scuba and snorkeling sites: n Sergeant majors.to fourinch fish with big eyes and a thin deeply-forked tail. and the pectoral fin has a dark spot at its base. n Trumpetfish are thin and 1½-2½ feet long. They are usually five10 inches long.18 n The Land & Sea Among the vast number of fish that live in shallow waters close to shore. n Brown chromis. Some have a pale band of color at the base of their tail. n Blue chromis. a brilliant blue three. The border of its dorsal fin is also yellow. They get their name from their extended trum- . are blue with a white or yellow spine at the base of their tail and darker blue edging around their fins. a four. above. n Surgeonfish grow to lengths of six-12 inches. a brownish-gray three. n Blue tangs. Their overall color changes from blue-gray to dark brown and their tail and fins are edged in blue or white.to sixinch fish with big eyes and a deeply-forked yellow-tipped tail.to six-inch fish that gets its name from the five black stripes that ring its body.
you’re likely to spot: n Ghost crabs. At night. then dart out of their holes. and during a full moon you can see hordes of them scampering about. hoping to become parents. but they can change their color to various shades of blue and yellow. they emerge to feed. Most often. The People A pproximately 7. they look about for larger dwellings. 95% of . including sewage. After the baby crabs hatch. but lay their eggs in water. hundreds of them dash down the hillsides to the shore. Barts. and sometimes kill other hermits in order to steal their shells. Since the little island was settled by French citizens and never had economic motivation to open up to outsiders. They tunnel into the sand. If a suitable shell isn’t available. then burrow down again and disappear. zip a few feet across the wet beach.Marine Life n 19 Introduction pet-like snout. they are brown or reddish-brown. When they grow too big for their backpack homes. They never leave the beach. they spend a few months in the ocean before trudging onto land. Hermits are known for eating any kind of garbage. carrying enough water to sustain themselves for awhile. On shore. During spawning season. with pale lines and black spots along their body. they will move into almost any kind of container.000 people live on eight square miles of land on St. n Hermit crabs live on land.
immigrants have poured onto the island looking for work and ideal living conditions. French and West Indian Creole are the most recognized cuisines on the two islands. Martin. Some residents speak Papiamento. so that now the native Creole population is heavily outnumbered by newcomers. but most of the people trace their roots to Africa. with four times more land (36 square miles). The islanders are understandably friendly to tourists. Martin. St.20 n Cuisine its residents are white. Cuisine ou will eat extremely well on St. but they have a reputation of being slow to accept newcomers. Martin. or the Netherlands. has nearly 10 times as many residents (about 69. Illegal immigration is an acknowledged problem. the unofficial. Barts and on both sides of St. Chefs come from Europe. but preferred language on Aruba. n Language The official language on St.000). spoken with a Norman accent. Martin has a variety of restau- Y . Over the past 20 years.000 people may be living on the island without proper authorization. Approximately 70 nationalities are represented on the island. Bonaire. Barts is French. and government officials say as many as 30. the official languages are Dutch on the Dutch side and French on the French side. By comparison. You may hear a small segment of native islanders speaking a French-based patois among themselves. either fluently or functionally. the US. Illegal immigrants seeking work are quickly deported. and other Caribbean islands to open restaurants or ply their culinary arts in the kitchens of eateries owned by others. As you might expect. but Dutch St. but most residents also speak English. and Curaçao – islands that are also members of The Kingdom of the Netherlands. France. but most everyone on both sides speaks at least some English. On St.
Small octopus. Beer/draft beer. and Indian recipes. Spicy lime-and-garlic bouillon used to cook fish. West Indian Créole dishes are a mouth-watering melding of French. usually a mild green curry. rice and onions. In the Caribbean. Soup made with herbs. Meat. African. The most common is made from cabri. except local seafood. Indonesian buffets. and Italian pastas. not as hot as Indian curry. and some fish are flown in from North America. Blood sausage (made from pig’s blood mixed with suet. . bony goat. Curry. is imported. but sometimes from vegetables. vegetables. Small fried fish. particularly delicious when prepared au gratin. Rare dish made from the heart of the coconut tree. bread crumbs and oatmeal) – not to be confused with Louisiana-style Boudin Blanc. but occasionally it’s chicken or pork. Everything. spicy stuffed shrimp. Small. Tomato. small goat. You’ll want to try the fried fritters. and pork. Sea urchin. Common French & Creole Menu Items Accras or Amarinades Balaou Bébélé Beignets Bière/bière pression Blaff Blanc-manger Boudin Noir Breadfruit Cabri Calalou Chadron Chatrou Chou coco Christophine Cirique Colombo Corossol Court-bouillon Crabbe de terre Cribiches Spicy doughnuts/fritters usually made from cod or other fish. cheese. Freshwater crayfish. Large melon-like fruit. usually prepared as curry or smoked. Donut-like sweet fritters. Dish made of boiled sheep tripe and green bananas. Vegetable similar to a potato. crab. Small beach cafés and roadside stands specialize in grilled or fried fresh fish. Coconut flan or gelatin dessert. produce. pepper. barbecued goat.Cuisine n 21 Introduction rants featuring Argentinian beef. and onion mix. Small crab. Land crab cooked with coconut and hot pepper. The word is said to come from the sound the fish makes as it hits the boiling liquid. while wine. Mexican combination plates. and chocolate come from Europe. A white-fleshed fruit. made from pork. and grilled langouste (the local lobster).
Cassava/tapioca flour. Déjeuner Dombre Entrée Écrevisses Farci Féroce Fruit à pain Giraumon Igname Lambi Langouste Manioc Maracudja Matoutou Migan Ouassous Oursin Pain Pâté en pot Patate douce Petit déjeuner Schrub Soudons Souskai Table d’hôte Ti-nain Ti-punch Titiris Touffé Z’habitants Music P eople in the Caribbean consider music their true voice.22 n Music Lunch. not main course. Breadfruit. Caribbean lobster. a large shellfish. Small banana. Any of a wide variety of yams. Sweet clams. white wine. Sea urchin (chadron). salt and hot pepper. Green fruits. Freshwater crayfish. and cod salad. Thick soup usually made with otherwise-unusable parts of a goat. vegetables. The region has given birth to calypso. Bread. A liqueur made by soaking oranges in rum. Braised. Passion fruit. merengue. Conch. hot pepper. and a splash of rum. Drink made of rum. Crab fricassée. Chef’s specialty of the day. no claws. Pumpkin. cooked like a vegetable because it is not as sweet as the larger variety. and lime. sugar cane syrup. Big freshwater crayfish. Large crayfish. Avocado. Sweet potato. grated and macerated in lime juice. Tiny fish. capers. Stuffed land crab. Most original rhythms are based on African beats and make extensive use of drums. Small flour croquette. Mashed bananas and breadfruit. Breakfast. . Appetizer.
Martin. only men have won the contest. and merengue with an African accent. and Lady Melody has made it to the finals. but women may enter. On St. Tanny and the Boys (an old-timers band that plays calypso. a group that promotes the island’s music. the annual Carnival competitions culminate in a play-off between 10 finalists and the defending Calypso Monarch from the past year. which have become popular worldwide. See page 34 for details on island festivals. Carnival is celebrated after Easter. Martin include King Beau Beau (the Calypso Monarch for many years. and art). zouk. literature. and blues). Carnival is celebrated before Lent. On St. Colors (a dance band playing reggae. on the Dutch side of St. an annual celebration on almost every Caribbean Island. who has a BA degree in music from Hofstra University in New York). Neville York (a steel drummer and the principal member of Jazz Flamboyant. local stars on St. Martin. Barts put as much or more preparation into the celebration of their annual Music Festival each January and their annual Boubou’s Festival each August. and Anastascia Larmonie (a pianist who studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston and Brabants Conservatorium in The Netherlands). Martin. bolero. Currently.Music n 23 Introduction soca. using instruments they make themselves). dance. jazz. funk. Kaiso Brat (the former multi-year Calypso Monarch). So far. The common element in all these musical styles and their variations is an infectious dance rhythm and outrageous lyrics. Residents of St. Often. and reggae. favorite musicians and bands come out of competitions held during Carnival. Barts and the French side of St. .
599-542-2337 (on-island). jazz the next. % 0590-27-8727. France) draw many visitors. St.com) was started in 1999 by the well-known Parisian restaurateur. Martin is represented by Sint Maarten Tourism Office. Martin is represented by Office du Tourisme de Saint-Martin. The 12-night event in August is growing rapidly and features the music of lesser-known performers. and perhaps a classical symphony the next.000 spectators show up to enjoy the music each evening. For details on how to make calls on and to the islands.stbartsmusic festival. Barts Music Festival (www. Barts is represented by Office Municipal du Tourisme de Saint-Barthèlemy.com.org) is held every year during mid. opera companies. quartets. in the 1980s. FOR INFORMATION & TICKETS TO EVENTS Dutch St. Boubou’s Festival (www. .to late January. Performers come from internationally acclaimed orchestras. % 800-786-2278 (in North America). fax 599-542-2734. www. but word of mouth has increased its popularity and scope. and ballet troupes. They intended to keep the festival intimate and under-publicized. the now deceased Charles Magras. It features live performances by musicians and dancers in an informal setting. % 0590-87-57-21 (on-island). fax 0590-27-74-47. As many as 1.com.boubous-festival. fax 0590-87-56-43. the performances (which are associated with annual concerts held in a 14th-century château in the small village of Ainay.org.saint-barths.st-martin.st-maarten. and the festival is large enough to feature large orchestral works. The audience is treated to ballet one evening. who owns several exotic eateries on St. www. French St. Now. www. Christophe Barjetta (nicknamed Boubou). see page 52. Barts.24 n Music The 12-night St. Violinist Frances De Broff founded the festival with her friend.
Archeologists have uncovered evidence of ancient civilizations living on St. pottery shards. . another group of South American Indians arrived on the islands. Barts as early as 3. Sometime later.500 years ago. These people. Each village had a chief. More than 30 archeological sites on the island reveal that these people were peaceful. Arawak-speaking Indians who migrated through the Caribbean from South America in ocean-going canoes. the Indian population was dominated by Caribs. Columbus named it after his brother. and spiritual. and jewelry. Martin. while tribal members lived in round huts. The dwellings were simple wooden structures with straw roofs. Bartolomé. You can see artifacts from these early villages in the museums in Philipsburg and Marigot. he named it after Saint Martin of Tours because it was first sighted on the revered saint’s feast day. By the time Columbus passed through the Lesser Antilles in 1493. tools made of stone or shells. These original inhabitants were most likely Ciboney. Look for zemis (three-sided stone figures which depict their gods). more advanced sub-groups of Arawak Indians settled on St. but they were sturdy enough to withstand hurricanes. Barts. artistic. November 11.Early Times n 25 Introduction A Shared History n Early Times People lived on the islands of the Lesser Antilles long before Christopher Columbus “discovered” them on his second voyage in 1493. When he spotted St. were warriors who killed the Arawak men and forced the women into slavery. known as the Caribs. who lived in a rectangular hut. When he discovered a larger island to the north. Around 800 AD. Martin and St.
Kitts. which was already under the control of Englishman Thomas Warner. paid for its discovery and. who was a Spaniard by birth. and wood. . was a big contributor to the church) and Portugal (Spain’s political ally). By 1631. after all. by the way. and founded the Compagnie SaintChristophe to oversee future colonization in the Lesser Antilles. Kitts. France and the Netherlands didn’t object because the New World didn’t appear to possess much worth coveting. Kitts (then called Saint Christopher). the French privateer Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc. However. His ship was attacked by the Spanish and he found refuge on St. A few years later. returned to France for more money. n European Colonization – the Short Version In 1623. Pope Alexander VI. furs. At first. financed by Cardinal Richlieu. decided to divide the New World into two parts and award the larger section to Spain (who. the Dutch West Indies Company had its eye on the Lesser Antilles as a halfway point between their flourishing settlements in Brazil and Nieue Amsterdam (New York). D’Esnambuc liked what he saw on St. England. when the Spanish began flaunting gold and the Portuguese bragged of finding spices. which sought to colonize all the islands between latitude 10° and 30° North (basically from Trinidad to Bermuda). sailed for the Caribbean. Martin.26 n A Shared History n After Columbus After Columbus’ discoveries. Guadeloupe. and Martinique. Martin. Barts. the Dutch had set up camps on St. Compagnie Saint-Christophe was upgraded to the more encompassing Compagnie des Îles d’Amérique. St. While the Compagnie des Îles d’Amérique was using peasants from the French provinces of Normandy and Brittany to establish colonies on St. St. other countries sat up and took notice.
Peter Stuyvesant (later the governor of Nieue Amsterdam) directed his Dutch troops in an unsuccessful effort to retake the island. began to notice the successful French. and in 1651 sold it. Martin was amicably divided between the two countries. The Compagnie des Îles d’Amérique decided the place was too expensive to maintain. Stuyvesant lost his leg in the attack when he was hit by a cannonball. which earned him the nickname Peg Leg. since the island had poor soil. the Spanish colonists had tired of defending the minimally valuable island. Martin. Finally. Martin in 1638. but eventually the French ended up with 20 square miles on the north side. Barts. English. and Dutch settlements springing up in the Lesser Antilles. the irate Indians raided the . The original boundary was moved several times. Martin. who had been content with their lucrative holdings in the Greater Antilles. along with St. St. and built the Old Spanish Fort at Point Blanche. Meanwhile. and was inhabited by hostile Carib Indians. He replaced it with a wooden prostheses. and the Dutch got 16 square miles on the southern side. The Spanish. The sale made no difference to the native Caribs. Kitts and the French section of St. who were determined to keep their land and continued to make life miserable for the white settlers. The French and Dutch quickly moved to reoccupy the land and. to the Knights of Malta. on St. when both realized the other would not willingly leave. and installed Jan Claeszen van Campen as governor. in 1656. thousands of Spanish troops stormed St. and abandoned St. By 1648. Remembering their Pope-given rights. took control of the island. Six years later. the first French settlers weren’t doing well.European Colonization – the Short Version n 27 Introduction built Fort Amsterdam to protect themselves. no rivers or lakes.
Barts didn’t have the natural resources to join in. Barts limped along stoically as a half-forgotten French colony until 1784 when King Louis XVI allowed one of his ministers to sell the island to Sweden in exchange for trading rights in the port of Gothenburg. Privateer is the politically correct term for a pirate who plunders with government authorization. This surprise move brought instant prosperity to St. who brought along ship loads of goodies. Martin. When you visit this beach. more French settlers arrived three years later. set its sights on developing St. Kitts. Island lore says the notorious bad guy buried treasure in the sandy coves of Anse du Gouverneur. and Martinique into profitable trade centers to supply the French colonies in the Americas. MONTBARS THE EXTERMINATOR . and St. walk softly and carry a big shovel. Montbars presumably was one of the infamous corsairs (a French pirate) who found refuge on St. St. and displayed their victims’ heads on poles at Lorient beach. colonists scratched out a meager living as farmers. the colonies did somewhat better. and tried to defend themselves against hostile takeovers by foreign troops. Barts was included in the “island package” supervised by a new French enterprise called Companie des Indes Occidentales. killed all the colonists. While the other Indes Occidentales established profitable sugar plantations. Barts. This time around. This company. St. Barts. Guadeloupe. St. Amazingly.28 n A Shared History European settlement. Instead.A French hoodlum who allegedly roamed the seas in search of Spanish galleons during the 1700s. Barts because the Swedes allowed it to oper- . St. backed by the French monarch. One invasion the islanders didn’t resist was from pirates and privateers.
Hundreds of captured Africans were brought to the island. resupply their vessels from the overflowing warehouses that surrounded the harbor. Since the settlers couldn’t keep up with the demanding work load. and St. The original French settlers. and be on their way. Slaves from West Africa were the only affordable choice. At first. Sailors could pull up to the sheltered port in Gustavia (named after Swedish King Gustave III). never merged into the Swedish society. n Sugar & Slavery Europeans developed a sweet tooth in the 1600s. they tried to recruit laborers from Europe by offering them land in exchange for 36 months of unpaid work. few Europeans fell for it. and plantation owners were forced to seek another solution. sell anything they had stolen from foreign colonies or ships. Martin began cultivating sugar around 1650. enjoy a good French meal. a policy that is still honored today. so they were pleased when France repurchased their island in 1877. prospering landowners were .Sugar & Slavery n 29 Introduction ate as a free port during a period when many European countries needed a convenient one-stop trade center. whose numbers had grown over the years. and the plentiful workforce soon turned the arid countryside green with sugar cane. As tempting as the offer might seem. They were even more thrilled by the announcement that the island would remain a duty-free port. This period of prosperity dwindled as international conflicts declined in the New World and fewer ships sought safe harbor.
St. Martin in the Treaty of Vienna. Martinique. While the French were busy with internal matters. and in 1789 it did explode with the French Revolution. Martin were freed in 1863. These policies understandably caused tempers to flair. France gained lasting sovereignty over Guadeloupe. Thirty-two years later. He armed the black inhabitants on all three islands and successfully retook the French possessions. owners adopted strict rules to keep the slaves under control. immediately after the abolition of slavery. very few African slaves. Frenchman Victor Hugues. St. Martin. As promised. But freedom was bittersweet and short-lived. Five years later. Martinique.30 n A Shared History too content to notice that they were becoming outnumbered by discontented black workers. Small property owners were organizing to rid themselves of regulations imposed by large property owners. Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated slavery during his reign and the blacks were enslaved when England once again retook St. In 1816. Martin in 1794. and French St. and St. Barts. because the administrators sent to govern the islands took every opportunity to revoke the rights of former slaves. The situation was explosive. To compound the problems on St. an outspoken opponent of slavery. the English took advantage of the dissent in the Antilles and overthrew the administration on Guadeloupe. . Large property owners wanted to free themselves from restrictions placed on them by France. Martin in the early 1800s. Hugues freed the slaves. the entire Caribbean region suffered economic problems. and the slaves began to rise up against their owners. When black-slave/white-owner tension became evident. was dispatched to the islands to confront the English. thus. Barts never had a plantation society and. France was plotting to overthrow its monarchy. Slaves on the Dutch side of St. Frenchman Victor Schoelcher led a successful campaign to permanently abolish slavery in French territory. slaves weren’t the only group unhappy with their circumstances. However.
which is divided into two three-island clusters: the “S” islands (St. Martin gained full benefits granted all French citizens on March 19. Dutch St.The 20th Century n 31 Introduction and the inhabitants of St. Martin is part of The Netherlands Antilles. 1946 when Guadeloupe and Martinique became overseas départements of France. Eustatius. and administrators (called préfects) are appointed for each island by the central government in Paris. Barts were no exception. currently) on the recommendation of local officials to serve a six-year term. and Saba). very few current residents are African descendants. (Aruba became autonomous in 1986 when it seceded from The Netherlands Antilles. Barts and the northern section of St. Willemstad.) . n The 20th Century Islanders on St. Each island has a governor appointed by the sovereign of the Netherlands (Queen Beatrix. Guadeloupe is capital of the région. St. and the “ABC” islands (Aruba. Bonaire. Curaçao serves as the seat of government for the five-island Netherlands Antilles. The few liberated slaves who lived on the island were forced to leave to look for paid work in more prosperous areas. Martin were tied administratively to the préfecture. Barts and French St. and St. Consequently. and Curaçao). Maarten. but it remains a part of The Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Martin .Border Monument separating Dutch Sint Maarten and French St.
Martin is represented by Sint Maarten T .n Going Metric 50 fic is bad. Dutch St. Events & Holidays he citizens of St. so all the tourist offices or check the official island websites to get the exact dates and ticket information for each event. But planes are n Money Matters 48 packed. The weather n When to Go 33 n Celebrations is perfect. Every. traf. All this. If you want to watch or participate in some type of celebration or event. Celebrations. check the listings below.n Time 52 ner reservation. Lots of 40 n Travel Documents events are going on. just after Easter until late June and again just after hurricane season but before the winter holidays. H O L TE W Travel Information Airfares and hotel rates typically fall between April 15 and December 15. and many restaurants and shops drop their prices during that time as well. n Getting There 60 Think about visiting during n Getting Around 64 the shoulder seasons. and you must call n Electricity 51 52 well in advance to get a din. and n Telephones Planning Your Trip 54 n prices are high too. Summer is fine.Travel Information When to Go inter is the IN THIS CHAPTER ideal time to 33 visit. Barts take every opportunity to celebrate their mixed cultures. but you’ll have more rain – you may even encounter a tropical storm – and some businesses may be closed.n Health & Safety 44 thing is open. hotels are full. Martin and St. too. Dates vary for some holidays and events.
Martin is represented by Office du Tourisme de Saint-Martin. Martin. Performers come from internationally acclaimed orchestras. dancing. It features live performances by musicians and dancers in an informal setting.com. Variable Ash Wednesday (B/F) On this. everyone dresses in black (signifying sin) and white (signifying a fresh start) to attend street parties and torch-lit parades.34 n Celebrations. com. and perhaps a symphony the next. page 22 above.to lateJanuary. www. who presides over costume parades. Events & Holidays Tourism Office. The audience is treated to ballet one evening. quartets. fax 599-542-2734. January January 1 New Year’s Day (B/D/F) Variable St. opera companies. D = Dutch St. Martin. the last day of Carnival. saint-barths. % 0590-87-57-21 (on-island). Barts. . It runs for two weeks before Ash Wednesday and is highlighted by the crowning of a beautiful Carnival Queen.org for more information.org.st-martin. St. Barts International Music Festival (B) This 12-night festival is held every year in mid. F = French St. B = St. and music competitions. See Music. jazz the next.st-maarten. and www. www. % 800-786-2278 (in North America). fax 0590-87-56-43. www. and ballet troupes. Barts is represented by Office Municipal du Tourisme de SaintBarthèlemy. % 0590-27-87-27. February-March Variable Carnival (B/F) French Carnival isn’t as big as the Dutch extravaganza.stbartsmusicfestival. but it is celebrated with passion and exuberance. 599542-2337 (on-island). French St. fax 0590-27-74-47.
Barth Festival of Caribbean Cinema (B) This is held annually during the week after Easter. and Dutch citizens throw parties. so citizens (including those living in the Netherlands Antilles) celebrate on the birthday of the former Queen (Juliana).org. the current monarch of the Netherlands. All foreign movies are shown in their original version.Celebrations n 35 April Variable Carnival (D) April 30 Queen’s Birthday (D) Queen Beatrix. this holiday is a celebration of freedom in general. was actually born in January. The event has grown and is now popular with both visitors and islanders.stbarthff. who was born April 30. Most businesses on French St. www. but it specifically honors military personnel who died during World War II to protect that freedom. Martin also close in honor of the Dutch queen. Variable St. but that’s a lousy time of year in Holland. 1909. It began in 1995 with the objective of presenting films from Caribbean producers so that island residents would have the opportunity to view and discuss works made in and about their area of the world. It’s a national holiday. while the queen herself makes public appearances in various towns throughout Holland. Variable Ascencion Day (B/D/F) May 27 Abolition of Slavery (B/F) . Travel Information May May 1 Labor Day (B/D/F) May 8 Remembrance Day/Armistice Day WWII (B/F) More and more. with French subtitles.
slavery was abolished in French territory on April 27. boat races. and an island-wide bike race ending up in Grand Case. becoming interested in the lives of black slaves. which extols the beginning of a new (and better) form of government. He died in 1893 and is remembered on French Caribbean Islands as a great statesman and humanitarian. and sporting events. official government ceremonies.36 n Celebrations. and fireworks in Gustavia. Events & Holidays Variable Whitsun (B/F) July July 14 Bastille Day (B/F) This holiday is celebrated by the French much as Independence Day is by Americans. a public dance. marking the start of the French Revolution. August August 15 Day of the Assumption (B/F) August 24 Fête de Saint-Barthélemy (B) The feast day of Saint Barthélemy is celebrated with church services. . His memorial day is celebrated with Anguillan sailboat races at Grand Case. Martin celebrate the day with great zeal. Under his leadership. French citizens stormed the Bastille (a political prison) on July 14. 1789. fireworks. He lived and traveled on the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. with parades. 1804 and became a French parliamentarian. July 21 Victor Schoelcher Day (B/F) Victor Schoelcher was born in Paris on July 21. a mini-marathon. 1848. Both sides of St. It’s a national holiday.
page 22. There’s a ceremony by government officials at the Border Monument obelisk. It is a multifaceted holiday that simultaneously commemorates the longstanding agreement (Concordia) between Dutch and French citizens. dancing. recognizes the day Columbus first sighted the island. November 11 Remembrance Day/Armistice Day WWI (B/F) Saint Martin Day/Concordia Day (D/F) Concordia Day corresponds to the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours. honors its namesake. a 20-mile “Around the Island” race. Travel Information December December 25 Christmas Day (B/D/F) December 26 Boxing Day (B/D/F) Decmber 31 New Year’s Eve (B/D/F) . for whom the island is named. followed by parades. and feasting. and remembers those who died during World War I.Celebrations n 37 Variable Boubou’s Music Festival (B) See Music. who amicably share the small piece of land. November November 1 All Saints Day (B/F) Islanders commemorate this religious holiday by placing lighted candles in all cemeteries. for details on this popular event. the patron saint of France.
sang raunchy songs. the festival begins about two weeks before Shrove Tuesday. Everything comes to a close on Ash Wednesday or Mercredi des Cendres. parades. The main parade is usually timed to coincide with Queen Juliana’s birthday on April 30. Today. disguised themselves with masks and marched through the streets in immodest clothes. an effigy of the King is burned on the final night to end the festivities.” or theme song. The tradition of electing a king to reign over Carnival began in ancient Rome and Greece. drinking. Martin postpones its Carnival until the last two weeks of April. and defied laws. Events & Holidays n Carnival Every Caribbean island celebrates Carnival. whether slaves or masters. a public holiday. the king is the winner of a music competition held to select Carnival’s official “road song.38 n Celebrations. the King of Carnival. Barts and the French side of St. Martin. Dutch traditions include electing King Momo (sometimes spelled Moumou) and a Carnival Queen to preside over the events. and people. Travel Information . but the traditions and dates vary. Calypso. with the burning of Vaval. and making merry. The King of Carnival mocked authority by suspending all rules and commanding everyone to enjoy themselves. where the week before the holy season of Lent was spent eating. All societal rules were abandoned. and street parties called jump ups. so the island actually celebrates almost nonstop throughout the winter/spring season. which is known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. On St. cooking competitions. As on the French side. The Dutch side of St. which include music concerts.
The lyrics are always witty and usually rude or risqué. and marchers jam the roads for miles. and feasting. and everyone on the entire island turns out to sing. johnny cakes. floats. Similar parades and parties take place in Gustavia on St. colorful feathers. In the end. The highlight of both the French and Dutch Carnivals is the Grand Parade. singing. and participants marching along in outrageously elaborate costumes – towering headdresses. Martin. Bands. conch fritters. and glitzy jewels. this ceremonial blaze also destroys everyone’s sins and leaves the islands pure.Carnival n 39 and its variations. and each year the islands’ musicians try to outshine one another with an original song. the song mocks government officials. Best-selling Caribbean favorites include dumplings. Local and well-known international bands perform almost non-stop on a central stage. dance. Travel Information . Barts. set up two blocks from Front Street in Philipsburg during the Dutch-side celebration. gaily decorated floats. On the French side of St. barbecue chicken. Carnival Village. features more than 100 game and food booths. and celebrate. No one is allowed to be a bystander during Carnival. is the heartbeat of the Caribbean. According to legend. the streets of Marigot and Grand Case become parade routes. a straw figure representing the King of Carnival is burned. or some social situation on the island. laws. and icy drinks. with booming bands. Traditionally. Residents and visitors all join the dancing.
the requirement extends to all border crossings. Regardless of documentation required by other countries. Martin and St. beginning December 31. www.travel. whether by land.pptc. and Bermuda. always carry a valid passport. Barts to possess a round-trip or onward-transit ticket. state. Mexico. especially during times when international security is on high alert. you can call % 888-362-8668 and talk to a live person who will answer your questions for a $4. or use the automated phone service (35¢ per minute) at % 877-487-2778. Canadians can get passport information by contacting % 800-567-6868. . including US citizens. Also. Get a Passport Find out where to apply for a US passport by entering your zip code or state in the search box at www. 2007.gov/passport_services. Central and South America. Since regulations are subject to change. it’s also a good idea to check with the tourist office of the country you’ll be visiting to verify current documentation requirements.95 flat fee. W Important Information for US Citizens Requirements for re-entry into the United States have changed. even if you aren’t required to present one.40 n Travel Documents Travel Documents hen traveling outside the continental boundaries of your home country. Although you may not be asked to present it. the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires all travelers. to present a valid passport when entering or reentering the United States by air or sea from Canada.gc. air or sea travel. as well as proof of sufficient funds for their stay on the islands. immigration officials also require all visitors to St.gov.html.ca.state. 2006. iafdb. Additional information is available at www. By December 31.travel. the Caribbean.
gov. If you lose your passport. gov. Citizens of all other countries should check with their local French or Dutch embassy or the islands’ tourist offices. Citizens of the United States can contact US Consul General T. even if you’re just making a day-trip. Australians may apply for a passport at any post office in Australia or make inquiries at % 131-232. However. All visitors must present a return or continuing-on ticket. Canada. so you don’t have to show ID or declare purchases as you travel from one side to the other. Barts and St. % 246-431-0225. ukps. there’s no real border between the French and Dutch territories on St. fax 246-431-0179. Travelers from the United Kingdom can contact the British High Commission on Barbados.passports. Martin. Martin. fax 599-544-3242. contact the local police and the nearest embassy or consulate of your country in the Caribbean. Additional information is available at www. Australians can apply for a passport at any post office or make inquiries by calling % 131-232.au. % 246-436-4950. and the European Union may enter St. Martin for a period of up to three months by presenting either a passport or a certified birth certificate plus a government-issued photo ID. gov. Rose on Barbados.au. citizens of the United States. or call the US Embassy on Barbados. .Passports n 41 UK citizens can call % 0870-521-0410 or visit www. Additional information is available at www.passports. Canadian citizens should contact the Consulate of Canada on St. Remember that if you visit both islands.J. you will be required to present your documentation on each. Travel Information Currently. % 599-544-5211. fax 246-430-7860. % 246-430-7836.uk.
Protect the Kids
France and The Netherlands Antilles, like many other countries, strive to prevent international child abduction by requiring anyone traveling with a minor to provide documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child to travel from the parent or legal guardian, if they are not present. Travelers may also be asked to present these documents when they return to their own country. Carrying these documents when you vacation with a child may prevent travel delays and inconveniences.
Foreign-made personal items taken out of the US are subject to duty each time they are brought back into the country. Avoid this expense by registering watches, cameras, and other expensive articles that shout “foreign” with the Customs Office before you leave the US. You can also carry the dated sales receipt, insurance policy, or jeweler’s appraisal to prove prior possession. To find the nearest Customs Office, % 202-354-1000, www.customs. gov. Citizens of the United States and Canada, who are 17 years of age or older, may bring a liter of liquor or two liters of wine and 200 cigarettes onto the islands. Citizens of the European Union may bring in 1.5 liters of liquor, four liters of wine, and 300 cigarettes. Do not try to enter the Caribbean with illegal drugs, including marijuana. Possessing even a small amount will land you in jail and cost you more than you’ll want to pay to get out. If you take prescription medications, carry them in the original labeled container, and if they contain narcotics, get a note from your doctor or carry a copy of the prescription.
n Returning Home
Make your trip through Customs quick and hasslefree by packing all items that you bought on the islands together in the same bag and having all receipts readily available for Customs officials. Remember that you must declare everything that was given to you as a gift, as well as everything that you bought. If you had merchandise shipped home, you must declare these items when you go through Customs. Each country has its own regulations for taxing and exempting purchases made by residents traveling to a foreign country. If you think you may buy more than a T-shirt, request a copy of rules from the Customs Service before you leave home. Citizens of the UK can obtain a copy of regulations by contacting the National Advice Service of The UK Customs and Excise Center, % 0800-59-5000, www.hmce.gov.uk. Canadians living in all provinces can get a summary of regulations by contacting the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, % 800-461-9999, www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca. Each resident of the United States is allowed to return home with $600 worth of duty-free goods every 30 days, and families traveling together may fill out a joint declaration form. If you arrive with new items worth more than the allowable credit, you will be charged a flat rate of 10% on the excess. US citizens who are at least 21 years old may reenter the country with one liter of duty-free alcohol, and all residents may bring back 200 cigarettes and 200 cigars, as long as the cigars are not from Cuba. Up to $200 worth of duty-free merchandise may be sent home from abroad, but only one package may be sent to each address per day, and alcohol, tobacco products, and perfume valued at more than $5 are not allowed. Each parcel must be labeled Personal Use, and an itemized list of the contents and the retail value must be attached.
Health & Safety
Duty-free gifts to friends and family may be sent from foreign countries, but the limit is only one package per address per day, and the value must not exceed $100. Mark parcels Unsolicited Gift. The government publishes a valuable pamphlet for travelers called Know Before You Go. It’s free, and may save you time, money, and stress when you travel outside the country. Request a copy from the US Customs Service, % 202-354-1000, www.customs.gov. Tip: Some airlines and inter-island boats include the tax in the ticket price. Ask when you purchase your tickets.
n Departure Tax
ou will be charged a $30 departure tax when you leave St. Martin, even if you’re going to St. Barts or one of the other nearby islands. The only exception is for travelers going to another island within the Netherlands Antilles, such as Saba or St. Eustatias, in which case the tax is only $10. Expect to pay your tax at a separate window after you check in, but before you enter the departure lounge. At publication time, St. Martin planned to add a $5 transfer fee for all passengers who passed through the airport.
St. Barts charges a $5 per person departure tax, when your next stop is another French island and $10 when you are going anywhere else. You must pay the tax in dollars or euros before departure..
Health & Safety
t. Martin and St. Barts are clean, modern, and safe. That said, there are some common precautions that you should take.
Health & Safety
The water that comes from indoor taps is desalinated sea water or purified rain water. It tastes fine. Restaurants will pretend that they do not serve tap water, but insist, unless you prefer bottled water, which may cost more than soda or wine. Do not drink water meant for irrigation from outdoor taps. Food in almost all eating establishments is free of diseasecausing bacteria and contamination. Eat hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Do not eat from a buffet that has been sitting out more than two hours, unless the food has been kept covered and at the correct temperature with heating or cooling apparatus. Avoid prepared food sold by street vendors, and wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before eating.
If you become seriously ill or injured while on the islands, your country’s consular or embassy office in the Caribbean may be able to assist you. Also, your health insurer and most major credit card companies can suggest names of qualified doctors and certified hospitals in the Caribbean. For a list of hospitals and medical clinics, see the Facts & Numbers section at the end of each island in this book.
Most health-reporting agencies include all Caribbean islands in one general category without considering the conditions on individual islands. St. Martin and St. Barts are among the more healthful islands in the region, so keep that in mind when you check the following agencies for information about infection outbreaks, health concerns, and suggested vaccines: The Bureau of Consular Affairs, www.state.gov/ travelandbusiness. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, % 877-394-8747, fax 888-232-3299, www. cdc.gov/travel.
Health & Safety
The Medical Advisory Services for Travelers Abroad (MASTA) provides health tips and useful links for minimizing risks while traveling. www.masta.org. The World Health Organization, www.who. int. Health Canada, www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Remember that the Caribbean sun is stronger than in North America or Europe. Wear a high sun-protectionfactor (SPF) cream containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, sunglasses, and a hat or visor during daylight hours. If you get burned anyway, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and smooth on a coat of aloe vera gel. If you feel dizzy or develop a fever, headache, or nausea, you may have experienced sunstroke. Seek medical attention. Mosquitoes are usually kept away by the steady winds, but at night and on calm days, you may want to use an insect repellent containing DEET. Some people claim that Avon’s Skin-So-Soft is the best insect repellent, but scientists can’t duplicate results in e lab. A product called Bite Blocker, made from soybean oil, protected wearers for about an hour and a half during lab testing. Eucalyptus oil products (Fite Bite and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent are two) tested a bit better and protected wearers for about two hours. Try the nontoxic stuff and decide for yourself. If precautions don’t work and you’re still bitten, use a product such as Sting-Eze to relieve the itch.
Thieves are among us, even in paradise. St. Martin and St. Barts are not known for aggressive pick pockets or sand bandits who steal your stuff off the beach while you’re in the water. However, the islands are becoming more populated and unemployment is a current problem, especially on St. Martin, so watch your valuables and always, always lock your car.
On a recent trip, we heard the following stories from fellow visitors: A doctor and his wife were driving back to their hotel after dinner one evening when they saw a woman lying beside the road. Thinking she was injured, they stopped to help her. Yeah, you guessed it – a group of boys jumped out of nearby bushes, took everything and fled. Another man and his wife stopped at a lookout point, stepped a few feet away from their car to take a picture, and heard the car doors slamming closed as a thief started the engine and sped away with their wallets, airline tickets, passports, and a beach bag full of clothes. One local blames the growing petty crime problem on youths who have nothing better to do. Whatever the reason, take common precautions to guarantee your safety, and watch for clever schemes.
Speaking of clever schemes, this falls into the annoying, but not dangerous category. Timeshare salespeople have a rather novel approach on St. Martin. Young, clean-cut, cheerful couples travel together, either on foot or by motor scooter or jeep, and stop unsuspecting tourists with various believable stories that always end with the tourist sitting through a sales pitch in order to receive a “prize.” During a recent visit, we were approached several times before we caught on. On our first and best encounter, a chipper college-aged man pulled his little jeep in front of our car parked at the border marker on a hill between the French and Dutch territories. His pert girlfriend jumped from the car and ran back waving her hands to announce breathlessly that we perhaps had won a $500 radio promotion. All we had to do was scratch off the protective cover on a small
businesses on both sides of St. Martin’s euros. we had won. coming out of a restaurant in Simpson Bay. and during a sunset happy hour on the beach. please stop by for at least 45 minutes so Miss Pert could collect her $50 bonus. Martin should convert enough euros to florins for daily expenses. Barts accept US dollars.” Money Matters n Currency As strange as it may seem on an island that doesn’t even have a proper border between its two nations. Visitors from the United States don’t need to convert dollars into euros or florins. the money she used to put herself through college. we simply presented the winning card at the sales office of a new luxury resort. we uncovered three sevens. However. Visitors from Canada will want to convert Canadian dollars into either US dollars or euros and florins. French St. we would be treated to a fabulous hourand-a-half tour of the resort and information about how we could own a part of it. Otherwise. no problem. depending on the exchange rate. please. Martin and throughout St. at a stoplight in Philipsburg. and Dutch St. Martin won’t take French St. European visitors who plan to spend time on Dutch St. Martin’s florins. Similar incidents occurred while we took pictures in Marigot. Even if we weren’t interested.48 n Money Matters card to reveal a series of numbers. Martin doesn’t accept Dutch St. wave away all cute young couples who seem overeager to meet you with a polite “No thank you. . though they usually give change in local currency. If you’re interested in this sort of thing. And. Of course. by the way. If any three numbers matched. In order to collect the $500 prize.
If the merchant charges your purchase in euros or florins. you’ll have a detailed record of where you spent your vacation money. This will eliminate inaccurate exchange rates. At publication. check the current rate exchange on the Web at www. you will be paying double if your account is charged in dollars for what you bought in florins. It is to your advantage to be charged in local currency. because merchants use a less favorable conversion rate than banks when they write up the bill in US dollars. one euro was equal to $1. as well. be sure you know which currency prices are quoted in. The Food Center grocery stores have machines and are located on Union Road in Cole Bay. While it doesn’t make much difference when you’re dealing in euros. Travel Information n ATMs & Banks ATMs are located outside the arrival terminal at Princess Juliana Airport on St. before you make a purchase. Find a more complete list of ATMs and banks in Island Facts and Numbers at the end of the St. The prices given in this book are in US dollars. and let the banks do the math. on Bush Road and Airport Road in Simpson Bay. pages 210 and 297. Martin. and Grand Case. Martin and St. and assume the exchange rate will not be in your favor. Also. and at most banks in Philipsburg. Marigot. and your pockets won’t be loaded down with a variety of mixed currency. 20. check to be sure the use of local currency is clearly marked on the charge slip. expect change in local currency. Before you leave home. Shopping centers and resorts have begun to install ATMs. .ATMs & Banks n 49 The best advice for everyone is to charge as much as possible to your credit card. If you do pay for goods or services with cash in US dollars.xe. at the cruise-ship dock and Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg. and a Netherlands Antilles florin was worth about 55¢. so ask around.com. Barts chapters.
On St. but hours vary somewhat. Jean. Martin. Going Metric U S citizens continue to have trouble with temperature. Need more or less? You do the math. Dutch-side ATMs dispense US dollars. if you want a pound of fruit. If possible.2046 pounds 0. banks operate Monday-Friday. Some machines give you a choice of currency. Barts. They don’t charge a commission. 1 kilogram 1 pound 2. especially in the afternoon. Barts commonly close weekends and holidays. 8 am-noon and 2-4 pm. 8:30 am-5:30 pm.50 n Going Metric On St. The bank at Princess Juliana Airport is open daily. most banks are open Monday-Friday. ATMs are located at Banque Française Commerciale in Gustavia and St. and most stay open an hour later on Friday afternoon. Pounds vs. Barts and French St. 8:30 am3:30 pm. but the exchange rate is worse than at banks or ATMs.” Use this chart and avoid the shame. and quantity measured in anything other than “American.4536 kilograms . avoid exchanging money at hotels or currency exchange offices. Martin. Martin and on St. ask for half a kilo. Banks on both sides of St. and at Banque National de Paris in Gustavia. distance. On Dutch St. Kilos At the market. French ATMs dispense euros.
at the regulated outlets at dive shops. Martin. but that’s only a little over six miles. On Dutch St.06 quarts or 0. electricity runs at 110 volts/60 cycles. 1 liter 3. The distance from one town to the next may be 10 kilometers. such as computers. such as strobes. Charge your dive and photographic equipment. but check before you leave home. and watch for overheating if you’re using a convertor.8 liters 1. as in the US and Canada. .Electricity n 51 On the Road When you buy gas. you’ll need almost four liters to make a gallon.264 gallons 4 quarts or one gallon 1 mile Travel Information Is It Hot in Here? Temperature is converted from °C to °F by multiplying the Celsius temperature by nine. since you may need an adapter if the hotel has French or Dutch outlets. O Use a surge protector for sensitive equipment. Many resorts provide a hair dryer and an electric shaver outlet in their bathrooms. Martin. 15°C 20°C 25°C 30°C 35°C 59°F 68°F 77°F 86°F 95°F It’s easy to remember that 28°C = 82°F. dividing the result by five and adding 32. Barts and French St. on both islands.6 kilometers 1. electricity operates at 220 volts/60 cycles. as in Europe and South America. Ask also about the plug. Electricity n St.
The area code for Dutch St. you must dial 00 + 599 + the seven-digit number. it is the same time on the islands as in New York and other East Coast cities. When the US is in standard time. dial 00 + 1 + area code + the number. The area code for French St. then 590. and when you call from the French side. thus making a simple thing quite difficult. For example. (Example: 00-590-590-xx-xx-xx. Barts (or even next door). S Telephones elephones. Martin is also 590. dial 00 + 44 + the area code + the number. To call the US or Canada.) T When you call within the French overseas territory. are an area where the French and Dutch don’t jibe. You can find all other country codes listed along with long-distance rates in the TELEDOM phone directory that’s available at hotels. like currency. which is four hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time. Barts is 590. Barts. then enter the country code plus the number you wish to reach. you must dial a 0 before the area code. To call anywhere in Great Britain. you must dial 0590 + six-digit number. Martin and wish to call St. Got that? Making an international call is simpler. From either Dutch or French St.52 n Time Time t. Barts are both on Atlantic Standard Time. They do not observe Daylight Savings Time. if you are on the French side of St. When the US is observing Daylight Savings Time. Martin and St. but when you call the French side from the Dutch side you must dial 00. Martin or St. Martin is 599. then 590 again. . the islands are one hour later than Eastern Standard Time. plus the sixdigit number. The area code for St. access the international service by dialing 00.
dial 011 to get international service. St. Jean. Use a similar-looking TELCard. on French St. and hotel desks on the Dutch side. Martin. Travel Information n To Call the Islands To call from the US or Canada. but the rates are higher than with a prepaid calling card. Barts it is 1012. Barts. Martin is 542-2211. to make local and international calls when you’re in French territory. When calling the islands from Great Britain. gas stations.) The number for directory assistance on Dutch St. A Télécarte may be harder to find on the French side. which looks like a credit card. This is less expensive than phoning from your hotel.On-Island Phone Cards n 53 You may have to wait for a second tone after dialing 00 before dialing the country code and local number. 599 for Dutch St. dial 00 to get international service. Major credit cards can be used for long distance calls from some phone booths on both islands. Barts and French St. TELCards are readily available at convenience stores. Martin) plus the on-island nine-digit number. On St. Martin and St. n On-Island Phone Cards Public phone booths don’t accept coins. but most resorts and many shops in the larger towns have them. and at the gas station near the airport. which means you will dial 590 twice. Martin. Use a Télécarte. You can buy a card on St. Barts at the post offices in Gustavia. when you’re on Dutch soil. and Lorient. . then the area code plus the on-island nine-digit number. then the area code (590 for St. which means dialing 590 twice. especially on St. (Example 00-590-590-xxxx-xx.
st-martin. fax 646-227-9448 In Canada Sint Maarten Tourist Office 703 Evans Avenue Suite 106 Toronto.com. In the US Sint Maarten Tourist Office 675 Third Ave. NY 10017 % 646-227-9440. and through the mail from the tourist information offices for each island. Suite 1807 New York.st-maarten.st-barths. by phone. Ontario M9C 5E9 In England Maison de la France 178 Piccadilly London W1J 9AL % 09068-244-123. n Tourism Offices Information on the Web: www. and special offers. If you have a specific question or just want general information.54 n Planning Your Trip Planning Your Trip Y ou can gather quite a stack of information online. fax 207-493-6594 .org www. then check with the on-island office for current events. talk to an English-speaking staff member before you leave home. new attractions.com www.
fax 590-87-56-43 Travel Information On St. hotel. you can uncover numerous bargains and packaged arrangements for yourself. pay by credit card. Never pay an agency for travel arrangements with cash or a check.Making Reservations n 55 On St. Martin Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau Imperial Building 23 Walter Nisbeth Road Philipsburg % 599-542-2337. . If your time and patience are limited. a credit card purchase will give you some measure of protection and a means of protesting the charge if an airline. While trip insurance is the only way to fully protect yourself from unforeseeable events. or travel agency goes out of business. then double-check their quotes with a bit of Internet research before you agree to anything. fax 590-27-74-47 n Making Reservations Transportation and hotel rates change often and vary between vendors. contact at least two certified travel agents who specialize in the Caribbean. 97095 % 590-27-87-27. Never accept the first price you receive. Once you make a decision. Barts Office du Tourisme de Saint-Barthelemy Quai du Général de Gaulle Gustavia. fax 599-542-2734 Office du Tourisme de Saint-Martin Route de Sandy Ground Marigot % 590-87-57-21. especially off-season. With infinite time and diligence.
org. www.com).com) and the Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA. trip. See page 62 for a list of cruise specialists. However. In addition to verifying certification. have a particular interest in the region.astanet. check your existing health and homeowner’s policies to see if you’re covered while on vacation. lodging. which may allow you to cancel your trip for any reason without charge. www. www.doitcaribbean. Cruise Lines International Associated (CLIA. culture. remember that these types of policies will not help if the company itself goes bankrupt. Two of the best-known in the US are the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA. If you need additional coverage. n Insure Your Trip Before you pay for any type of travel insurance. ICTA awards Certified Travel Agent (CTA) status to professionals who have worked in the industry for at least 1½ years. com) is an organization that accredits travel-agent schools in the US and issues credentials to qualified graduates. the website for the Caribbean Tourism Organization. consider one of the following health. and cruise lines offer their own insurance.artaonline. tour organizers. www. The Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA. restaurants.org) is a worldwide association for certified agents who specialize in cruises. Members of the Caribbean Travel Organization (CTO). The Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) status is granted to those with at least five years of experience in the industry. or lost-luggage insurers.cruising. Some travel agencies.56 n Planning Your Trip n Finding & Evaluating a Travel Agent Find an agent near you by clicking on the interactive map at www. www. and those who have completed a destination-specialist course will have considerable knowledge of the islands’ history.com/travelagents. . ask if your potential travel agent is a member of any professional associations.icta.onecaribbean. main tourist attractions. and activities.
accident medical expenses. You must purchase additional med-evac insurance for this benefit. passport protection and baggage delay insurance. Click “International Travel” then scroll down the left side to “Health Issues. teachers and anyone between the ages of 12 and 25 may purchase an International Student Travel Card for $22. including Social Security Medicare for US citizens. The card includes insurance that covers hospital stays. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT TRAVEL CARD Travel Information Students. www. hospital care.travel. Others reimburse you for medical expenses after you file the necessary papers on your return home.gov. which is rarely needed but can cost $10. repatriation of remains. Never leave home without your ID card that shows proof of your health insurance coverage. emergency evacuation. Supplemental plans must be purchased. Numerous worldwide discounts are also available with the card. Some provide 24-hour telephone contacts and immediate aid if you become ill. ask your travel agent or check the website maintained by the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs: www. .000 or more. accidental death and dismemberment. and doctor’s charges. but few will pay for emergency travel back home. statravel.com. do not provide coverage for medical costs outside the home country. For a list of companies that sell travelers’ health insurance. Both services may be covered under your existing health insurance program.state. % 800-781-4040.Insure Your Trip n 57 Traveler’s Medical Assistance Insurance These health-care policies take care of things such as emergency evacuation. Most government-supported programs.” Insurance companies are suggested at the bottom of the center section.
including terrorism and natural disasters. Non-Refundable Ticket Insurance If you buy a non-refundable airline ticket through a travel agent that uses Worldspan Network. If you pay for all or portions of your trip in advance. but if you do. Most policies exclude trip cancellation in the event of war or other hostilities. you can purchase insurance that will reimburse the cost if you are not able to use the ticket. or the death of your travel companion. Check several companies on the Web at www. if checked luggage is lost. up to a maximum of $640 per bag. then must cancel because of illness or a death in the family. You are covered whether you simply do not want to reschedule the trip and pay the $100 change fee. the policy will reimburse most or all of the costs. . injury. Unchecked luggage is covered for a total of $400 per passenger.07 per pound or $20 per kilo. Many comprehensive travel insurance policies now include coverage if your tour operator defaults but. airlines pay international travelers about $9. Trip-Cancellation Insurance This is the one type of insurance that can be valuable for many travelers. you will not be covered for default of that provider. or don’t want to take the trip at all. if you buy a policy directly from your tour provider.58 n Planning Your Trip Lost-Luggage Insurance Many homeowner or apartment-renter policies cover personal items that are lost or stolen while you’re on vacation. In addition. Additional coverage may be purchased in advance from the airline for more valuable articles. Some policies also exclude travel to specific destinations that are prone to political unrest.com. Some policies only cover tour operator default if the operator files for bankruptcy. Some policies also cover cancellation in the event of illness. contact your current insurer about buying a rider for your existing policy. Most travelers do not need more protection than this.tripinsurancestore.
www.coeconnections. www. If you have special needs.org. the US Department of State: Travelex Insurance Services.com. equipment rental.co. www. You won’t find much specifically about the Caribbean. n Travelers With Special Needs Several organizations offer information and assistance to older travelers and persons with health problems.com. Access America. travel agents.nwinc.traveles-insurance. but not endorsed by. % 800-826-4919. www. % 888-447-4602. hotels. www. They also publish the . www. www.access-able. % 888-687-2277. % 01702 587003. % 800-909-7476.com.com. Travel Information Travel Guard America. % 800-729-6021. and packing. accessamerica.com. contact one of these groups: AARP offers 50-and-older members discounts on airfares. Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality is a clearinghouse for disability-access information. but look for details on cruise ships.uk.Travelers With Special Needs n 59 Travel Insurance Agencies In the US The following agencies are a few of the well-known and reputable suppliers of travel insurance listed by.aarp. In the UK UK Long and Short Stay Travel Insurance. International Health & Travel Insurance Quotes. travelguard. Access-Able Travel Source is an online publication that helps make travel easier for mature and disabled people by providing information about accessibility at hotels and attractions around the world. and rental cars.
diabetes.diabetes. it’s not impossible.sath. airport code SBH). or Guadeloupe. Martin to St. www.emerginghorizons. St. www. % 800-BANTING www. Martin constantly vies for increased air service from Europe and the Americas.org. % 800-DIABETES.com. St. In the US alone. and almost 20% of senior citizens suffer from the disease. www. has feature articles and a section with advice on accessible tours. . transportation. most international visitors land at Princess Juliana (airport code SXM). Martin. Air service is frequent from several North American and European cities. L’Espérance (% 590-87-10-36) on the French side. or The Canadian Diabetes Association.60 n Getting There magazine Open World. Bart’s Airport (% 0590-27-65-41. Emerging Horizons. Thomas. search the Internet in addition to checking with a certified travel agent who has extensive knowledge of the Caribbean. and regional or commuter flights are available from San Juan and other islands within the Caribbean. Getting There n By Air St.ca. fax 212-725-8253. While travel is more difficult for diabetics. Barts. and Princess Juliana (% 599-545-4211) on the Dutch side. For the best fares and most direct routing. Get information on how to prepare for a trip and manage while on vacation from The American Diabetes Association. lodging. Martin has two airports. an accessible travel magazine and newsletter. You must first land on St. before you can continue on to the tiny St. It’s also possible to take a ferry from St. Since L’Espérance (airport code SFG) only accepts small aircraft.org. % 212-447-7284. more than 15 million people have diabetes. but through-passengers won’t find this practical since it entails transferring luggage from the airport to a ferry dock by taxi. and recreation.
599-545-2545 (St. com.klm. Martin). St. allowing them to book you through to your destination on connecting flights. Barts. Antigua.com % 800-225-2525 (US). 599545-4747 (St. www. 599-5452040 (SMX St. 599-5454212 (St.ual.aircanada. Eustatius. www.continental.usair. www.delta.com % 800-525-0280 (US). As an example.nwa. so ask your carrier about connections in the Caribbean. com Travel Information Delta Air Lines KLM Northwest Airlines United Airlines US Airways JetBlue % 800-538-2583. 599-545-3444 (St.com % 800-428-4322 (US).com Some international carriers have codeshare arrangements with regional airlines. Martin). They also have an agreement with Nevis Express linking San Juan with St. Maarten to Anguilla.airfrance. Martin). . www.jetblue. www.com % 800-241-6522 (US). St.By Air n 61 Airline Contact Information International Carriers Air Canada Air France American Airlines/American Eagle Continental Airlines % 888-247-2262 (US & Canada). www.com % 800-433-7300 (US/Canada). www.ca % 800-237-2747 (US/Canada). 599-545-4344 (St. Martin) % 800-221-1212 (US/Canada). www. Saba. Other airlines have similar agreements. com % 800-374-7747 (US & Canada). US Airways has an agreement with Winair for flights from St. 599545-2372 (St. Kitts and Nevis. Martin). Kitts and Nevis. Martin). www. St. Martin).aa. www.
cruising. 590-2761-01 (St. Barts). www.aircaraibes.ca Winair n By Cruise Ship Several international cruise lines make stops at both St. www. The website for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) gives cruisers information.com % 800-780-5733 (US). Martin). 599-545-2568 (SMX St.62 n Getting There Regional & Commuter Airlines & Air Taxis Air Caraibes % 877-772-1005 (US). www.com (San Juan). rates. The following websites provide additional information for cruise-ship passengers: n Read The SeaLetter. n Check out Cruise News Daily for information.cruisenewsdaily. Barts.com % 888-975-7888 (US & Canada).org.com. current news.liat. Martin and St. 590-82-47-47 (SFG St. without the hassle of unpacking more than once. an Internet publication that covers cruising: www. and tips on shore excursions at: www. This allows you to island-hop and spend more time at each destination. you can return for a longer stay on the islands you like best.com.sealetter.com % 787-460-7558 airculebra. 866-864-6272 (International). Smaller ships. 599-545-2568 (St. Martin). You won’t have time to really explore the islands on a short layover.newconcepts. Air Culebra Caribbean Star Airlines LIAT % 800-744-7827 (in the Caribbean). Find them at www. and ship profiles. such as Windstar.flycaribbeanstar. www. . Later. www. Martin). 599-545-2403 (SMX St. Martin). but cruising is a good way to sample several destinations on one trip. spend several days cruising one area with multiple stops or multiple-day stays on each island.
% 800-728-6273. www. Start with the airlines. www.com.com % 800-722-5941.com % 877-505-5370. Cruise Lines American Canadian Caribbean Line Carnival Cruise Lines Celebrity Cruises Cunard Line Holland America MSC Italian Cruises Norwegian Cruise Line Princess Cruises Radisson Seven Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Seabourn Cruise Line Windjammer Barefoot Cruises % 800-556-7450 or 401-247-0955. www. com % 888-278-4737. Often. www. www.com % 866-562-7625. com % 888-625-4292.com % 800-774-6237. www.cunardline.winjammer.seabourn.com n Package Vacations Many visitors book a package deal that includes transportation and accommodations. Or go the other way and check with the hotel of your choice for a package deal that includes airfare. www.carnival. but the following lines are most likely to offer stops on islands covered in this guide.Package Vacations n 63 Destinations change as new ships come on-line and cruise companies adjust their itineraries. com % 800-929-9391. www. www.celebritycruises.hollandamerica.com % 877-724-5425.princess. www. these bundled arrangements cost less than separately booked hotel or airfare.royalcaribbean.accl-smallships.msccruisesusa. They frequently throw in multi-night hotel arrangements at a great price when you book your flight. www.com % 800-327-2601. Tour-scan computerizes all the published package trips to the Caribbean according to season.com Travel Information % 888-CARNIVAL. www. You can search for your trip by destina- .ncl. then selects the best values for each island.rssc.
. Getting Around H otels do not operate shuttle service to and from the airports. www. www. www. Contact Tour-scan at % 800-962-2080. but if you want to search for yourself. and preferred activity. www. you may find unpublished packages at even better rates.com % 800-472-3325.avis.com See Getting Around in each island’s section for local numbers of international companies and listings for local rental agencies.google. www. hotel rating.dollar.com % 800-654-3131.com. using a search engine such as www. This can save you a lot of time.thrifty. www.tourscan.com % 800-800-4000.com % 800-328-4567.budget.com. cost. but if you’re on a charter flight or package vacation. and most car rental companies will either deliver your car to you at the airport or pick you up and take you to their off-site location.com % 800-847-3489.hertz. Taxis wait for arriving passengers just outside the arrival terminal. transfers to and from your hotel are often included.nationalcar. www. n By Car International Car Rental Compnies Avis Budget Dollar Hertz National Thrifty % 800-331-1212.64 n Getting Around tion.
Martin. negotiate a price before you get into the cab. depending on the size and weight of each piece). . Dutch St. An additional 25% is added to the base fare until midnight. St. Martin. n in Marigot. The Taxi Dispatch Hotline number is 147 on St. Tip a little extra if the driver gives information about the island as you travel or helps you with your luggage (50¢ to $1 per bag is standard. Martin. % 0590-87-56-54. US dollars and local currency are accepted. but don’t expect the driver to have change for large-denomination bills. n at the airport in Grand Case. Martin. is rude. % 059087-75-79. St. n at the airport on Dutch St. which lists authorized fares between many common destinations. such as from the airport to major hotels. French St.By Taxi n 65 n By Taxi Taxis are plentiful at the airport and ferry docks on both islands. Drivers are licensed by either the Dutch or French government and carry a published rate sheet. in Gustavia. If your destination isn’t listed. 50% is added to the base fare from midnight to 7 am. Barts. Daytime rates apply from 7 am to 9 pm. add at least a 10% tip to the fare. % 0590-27-66-31. Ask to see it. % 0590-27-75-81. or takes you out of your way. Most drivers will not allow you to get into their taxi wearing a wet swimsuit. n in St. Jean. so make sure you’re dry and wearing some type of coverup. % 599-5435-4317. You can also call individual taxi stands: n in Philipsburg. Martin. French St. confirm the currency and whether the rate is quoted per trip or per passenger. Barts. TA XI Travel Information Unless the driver overcharges. % 599-542-2359.
Barts by sea. and the large residential areas. expect the buses/vans to be crowded during morning and afternoon transit times. Grand Case. Rapid Explorer. There’s no public transportation on St. Few or no vehicles provide service at night. n Inter-Island Ferries Most people take a 10-minute. If you are prone to motion sickness don’t go to St. Bart in first-class luxury in about 40 minutes. Since the service is used heavily by local workers. Return trips are from the harbor on St. plus $7 port tax. which travel the main roads between Philipsburg. The air-conditioned cabin features a snack bar and accommodates 150 passengers in comfortable airline-style seats. Fares are inexpensive – around $1 or $2. Barts. You can buy this at most pharmacies. It is always rough.66 n Getting Around n By Mini-Van Public transportation on St. Martin and St. Martin is by private mini-buses and vans. Or swallow two or more capsules of ginger root an hour before your trip. Martin and St. depending on the distance – but you may have to change vehicles several times to reach your destination. a new $5 million catamaran. Barts. Barts when the winds are strong. Martin daily from the Chesterfield Marina at Pointe Blanche. the trip is spectacular. such as Dramamine. but you also can take a ferry or high-speed catamaran for about $50$60 round-trip. including the one across from the ferry dock in Gustavia. If you love the sea. Consider taking a half-dose of a medication. Trips leave St. Barts. transports passengers between St. an hour before you depart. especially heading toward St. Marigot. 15-mile airplane ride between St. Passengers on a recent trip had good luck with acupressure wrist bands purchased at a health food shop. Round-trip fare is i89 ($106) for adults .
com. They also offer scheduled trips to Saba. fax 0590-29-34-79. fax 590-27-69-20 (St. % 059-87-10-68. which is about half the time of the other ferries. fax 0590-27-70-36.com. Contact them for reservations through Aqua Mania Adventures.Inter-Island Ferries n 67 and i45 ($58) for children up to 12 years of age. at the waterfront in Marigot. Martin and Gustavia on St. Martin). % 599-542-4096.st-barths. % 0590-27-54-10. Martin and St.html. attraction.com/marine. When the allure is better than good. Travel Information ADVENTURE GUIDE TO THE STARS Every site.voyager-st-barths. Barts. Martin in the morning and returns from Gustavia in the afternoon. you’ll find a star . Schedules change seasonally. means WOW! Stars may indicate “super value” or “amazing view” or “best burger ever. .. % 059027-70-34. so contact one of the offices for the timetable and reservations.stmaarten-activities. www.. Barts) or 599-542-9762. Marine Service offers charter boat service between St. Three stars . Voyager I and Voyager II are 125-passenger ferries that run a regular schedule between both Marigot and Philipsburg on St. If you find two stars . Gustavia Express travels between Gustavia on St. or at the Port of Gustavia. beside the name. Martin. www. % 590-27-60-33. The Edge is a 62-foot high-speed catamaran that leaves Pelican Marina on the Dutch side of St. % 590-87-99-03. fax 599-544-2476.service/snorkleframe. Make your reservation well in advance.” You just have to read the review to find out. fax 0590-29-34-79. hotel and restaurant reviewed in this book has been evaluated by the author for its appeal factor. fax 599-542-2858. Contact them at Gustavia Harbor. www. It makes the trip in 45-50 minutes.com. Contact them at Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg... fax 599-542-9782 (St. www. % 599-5442640. rapidexplorer. Barts and Anse Marcel on French St. especially during high season. Barts. shop. the author was very impressed. A sister boat makes day-trips to Saba.
Others set up headquarters on the easily reached island and make quick day-trips to the neighboring islands. two-nation isle. It is impossible to overlook the fact that little St. So. there are those adventurous types who simply love the fast-paced. Fabulous bargains at dutyfree shops are a factor. highly developed. then. nature lovers can find better choices. what’s the tremendous attraction? P IN THIS CHAPTER n n n n n n n n n n n n n n Great beaches and yearround sunshine come to mind. Martin several times a day. Martin Certainly. Many more come by cruise ship. Martin for a fast French fix without the long plane ride or the hassle of communicating in a foreign language. There’s no tangible border crossing between French Saint Martin to the north and Dutch Sint Maarten to the south. But Charlotte Amalie on St. Martin lanes from North America and Europe deliver hundreds of vacationers to St. No other island in the Caribbean can offer you more choices. The French-Dutch Split 72 Official Business 74 Getting There 75 Getting Around 76 Getting Married 81 Exploring the Island 83 Adventures on Water 104 Adventures Underwater132 Adventures on Land 138 Shopping 143 Where to Stay 156 Where to Eat 187 Nightlife 206 Island Facts & Numbers 209 St. Martin is divided in half and governed by two nations.St. is the great attraction. And then. Many North Americans come to St. Opposite: Dawn Beach . Thomas is almost as good. But many places in the Caribbean have that. and anyone looking for Dutch culture should continue traveling south to Curaçao. Variety. but you’ll know when you cross from one side to the other.
boutique shopping. The Dutch specialize in high-rise glitz. and rambunctious partying. They line it. The French have perfected the gentle art of bistro dining.St. the atmosphere is different. too. France does asphalt better. . and bare-all sunbathing. and maintain it better. sign it. And. big-time gambling. Martin The roads are different.
Martin. Eustatius. Dining on gourmet French food in Grand Case. and began exporting salt back to The Netherlands. Saba. claimed everything for Spain. it seems. Picnicking on Dutch cheese and French wine in an isolated cove. With their European foes moving in. Dutch sailors came along. Barts. Then Columbus arrived. First.72 n The French-Dutch Split Top Temptations n n n n n n n n n n Duty-free shopping in Philipsburg and Marigot. French and Dutch settlers returned to St. Of course. the Indians did not fare well during all this back-and-forth Old World bickering. When the French found out how nice things were in the Caribbean. Sunbathing at clothing-optional Orient Bay Beach. and the Pope said that was fine. Hiking Pic Paradis (Paradise Peak). and St. they sent settlers to colonize the entire region. the Indians ruled. Day-tripping to St. found the saline ponds. . Anguilla. but not in the beginning. The French-Dutch Split H ow did this small piece of land become the home of two nations? Quite amicably. A few hundred years later. and agreed to share nicely. Studying ancient Indian artifacts in Marigot’s Museum. the Spanish quickly lost interest and returned to their enterprises in the Greater Antilles. Diving and snorkeling the marine reserves. Escaping to a luxurious villa. Trying your luck at one of the big casinos.
just for the sport of it. but began to profit from tourism when Princess Juliana International Airport opened on the Dutch side in 1943 with the region’s longest airstrip. The Dutch side developed faster. Martin as a whole is one of the most densely populated islands in the Caribbean. Again. diverse population. many store fronts have a fresh coat of paint. but not by much. and the land owners were hurting for workers. Martin became a battleground as French and Dutch settlers snatched each other’s land and the English joined in. and soon black slaves outnumbered white owners. The French freed their slaves in 1848. While St. Understandably. the French side also benefitted from the airport. Philipsburg has been spruced up a bit: there’s a new cruise terminal. the fall of free labor destroyed the economy on both sides. the dual-nation island has experienced a building boom. Boatloads were delivered to the plantations. and become home to a large.The French-Dutch Split n 73 By the time Europeans found out they could grow cash crops on the islands. developed a healthy economy. Finally. Over the past 60 years. as did neighboring islands. and is still ahead of the French side. St. Martin changed hands 16 times. after the English left. The solution? African slaves. St. In the end. St. Marigot has a new shopping mall. Martin . all the Indians had been killed or banished. On our most recent visit. Martin deteriorated badly during the late 1800s and early 1900s. and sand has been trucked in to restore the hurricane-battered city beach. Between 1648 (when the first fair-share agreement was signed on Mount Concordia) and 1815 (when the post-Napoleonic Treaty of Vienna put an end to all French hostilities with the British). The Dutch hung onto theirs until 1863. the French and Dutch settled into a complacent relationship (but they didn’t like each other enough to build a decent road between the two halves of the island until the 1900s). You’ll have unavoidable traffic jams going into and St. we found the island looking good and working on its tourist appeal. the Dutch side packs about 10.000 more residents into four fewer square miles.
However. and Curaçao) lie along the northwestern coast of Venezuela. but depends on Holland for defense and foreign policies. Each island has its own Parliament and elects its own officials to manage domestic affairs. French St. Citizens of Dutch St. but traffic circles and signal lights have cars moving fairly smoothly through most areas. Curaçao is the capitol of The Netherlands Antilles. Maarten. the island was continuing as a part of the Netherlands Antilles. A representative governor is appointed for a six-year term by the sovereign of the Netherlands on the recommendation of local officials.74 n Official Business out of both capital cities. Martin are French nationals and carry passports issued by the European Union. which includes Holland. Both groups are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. and you can bypass the towns. Since then. Martin are Dutch nationals and carry passports issued by the European Union. Kitts. Martin and the other four Dutch islands have discussed and voted on seeking status aparte. unless you want to shop. Aruba withdrew from the Netherlands Antilles and became an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire. upholding ties with Holland and its current reigning monarch. Eustatius. Rural roads are rarely congested. The “S” islands (St. St. The “ABC” islands (Aruba. and Saba) lie just east of the Virgin Islands between Anguilla and St. which were granted political autonomy within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954. Citizens of French St. Martin’s northeast . In 1986. at press time. Official Business T he Netherlands Antilles are divided into two three-island clusters. Martin is part of the sous-préfecture which includes Tintamarre (just over a mile off St. residents on St. Queen Beatrix.
This is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean (with the capacity to handle up to 2. after you check in. and St. Other passenger-friendly amenities include a branch of the Windward Islands Bank. but are heavily dependent on France economically as well as politically. and two elected senators hold seats in the Sénat. Barts (about 18 miles south of St. Residents of Guadeloupe regularly lobby for autonomy. you will arrive at Princess Juliana International Airport (SMX. Martin) and is overseen by Guadeloupe. Tintamarre. four ATMs and WiFi (wireless Internet) throughout the building. but St. Four elected representatives speak for this overseas department in the French Assemblée Nationale. After a recent $87 million remodeling. a département français d’outremer.5 million passengers per year) and one of the few in the region with landing strips long enough to accommodate jumbo jets. the airport also brags of baggage conveyor belts with advanced security features that put it at the forefront of aviation. grab a bite to eat at the lower-level food court. Martin. The international airport is sometimes called Queen Juliana Airport. located on the skinny strip of Dutch land that separates Simpson Bay from the Caribbean Sea.By Air n 75 coast) and St. Martin . When you fly home. % 599-545-4211). which features Domino’s Pizza and Quizno’s. Getting There n By Air See page 61 for airline contact information. Unless you depart from another Caribbean island. Residents enjoy all the social programs available to French citizens living on the continent. or go upstairs to the departure area where you can enjoy a sit-down meal at a full-service restaurant and shop at 39 stores. Barts appear content with their status as French possessions. because Juliana became queen of the St.
76 n Getting Around Netherlands in 1948. 059-87-10-68 (Marigot). n By Bus Bus service on St. when she abdicated in favor of her eldest daughter. Martin). on the French side. L’Espérance Airport (SFG. % 599-542-4096 (Philipsburg). Do not misplace the Immigration Card you receive on arrival. You may certainly . % 0590-27-70-34. who is the current queen. doctor’s appointments. You will need it when you depart. Getting Around n By Inter-Island Ferry Rapid Explorer. Privately owned vans and mini-buses do run between the main towns and large residential areas. The Edge. Martin is essentially nonexistent. You can find additional information about inter-island ferry service on page 66. % 590-27-60-33 (St. Beatrix. accepts smaller aircraft arriving from other islands within the Caribbean. She reigned until 1980. Barts. 599542-9762 (St. % 0590-87-46-13. Marine Service. Voyager I and Voyager II. and grocery stores. 0590-2754-10 (Gustavia). but they are meant for locals traveling to work. five years after the airport was built. % 590-87-10-36). The Oyster Line. % 599-544-2640.
(You can identify them by the destination sign in the front window. stmaartenlimousines. wait beside the bus-stop sign for the non-scheduled vehicles to arrive on Back Street in Philipsburg. but it’s not the best way to get around.depending on the type of vehicle used (luxury car.com. in Marigot. Martin. net. at the corner of Rue Président Kennedy and Rue de Hollande in Marigot. The following companies are on call 24 hours a day every day of the year to provide everything from airport transfers to wedding transportation or customized island tours. n Prestigious Limousines. www. % 590-690-88-52-60.com. Martin n By Taxi The Taxi Dispatch Hotline number is 147.By Limousine n 77 catch a ride on them for a dollar or two. n By Limousine If you’re celebrating a special occasion. www. % 599-545-5775.) They’ll stop. at the airport on Dutch St. and anywhere along the main road in Grand Case. % 590-87-50-92 or 599-5513990 (cell). French St. You can also call the individual taxi stands: in Philipsburg. % 0590-87-56-54.caribbean-vip. Rates vary from about $75 to $200 per hour . Martin Limo Service. stretch limo or van) and the services requested. French St. % 599-523-1814. www. % 0590-87-75-79. Martin. Maarten Limousines. St. Martin. Martin. n Caribbean VIP. Service is infrequent after dark and stops completely between midnight and 6 am. If you want to give it a try. at the airport in Grand Case. You can also flag down a bus or mini-van anywhere along the road. n St. Dutch St. n St. % 599-54354317.com. % 599-542-2359. hire a private chauffeur to motor you around the island in style. .prestigiouslimousine. stmartinlimo. www. if they have room to squeeze you in. or just want a bit of pampering.
you will be required to leave a $500 deposit. as in the US and Canada. International road signs are posted along with local signs written in French. or Dutch. but in general. Plan to pay with a major credit card and ask before you leave home about included insurance on rentals charged to the card. Right turns are not allowed on red lights anywhere on the island. Most rental-car speedometers register in kilometers. . and international road signs are posted. verify the company policy before you book a car. If you fall within these two age groups. Don’t leave valuables visible inside the car. or European licenses. Age restrictions for renters vary somewhat among companies. Canadian. English. Speed limits are set in kilometers at 40 (25 mph) in urban areas. so getting around by car is easy. All the rental agencies will accept US. TA XI Car Rental & Driving Tips n n n n n n n n n Driving is on the right side of the road.78 n Getting Around n Driving on St. the minimum age is either 21 or 25 and the maximum is 65 to 70. If you pay cash. You must have held the license for a minimum of two years. Martin Roads are in good condition on most parts of the island. Always lock your car doors and use any theftprevention device the rental company supplies. and 60 (37 mph) in rural areas.
St. Insurance add-ons begin at $10 per day. Check before you sign up. Martin n 79 Rental Car Companies Below are local contact numbers. If you decline insurance coverage offered by the agency. but you may be responsible for $500 worth of damage anyway. but they average about $35 per day for a small car with manual transmission. 0590-27-67-53 . You pay about $65 per day for a larger car or one with automatic transmission or fourwheel-drive. Martin International Car Rental Companies Alamo Avis Budget Dollar Europcar Hertz National Thrifty % 599-545-5546 % 599-2847 or 0590-87-50-60 % 599-545-4030. American Express and Visa Gold Card customers are not covered when they rent a sports car or four-wheel-drive vehicle.Driving on St. Weekly rates are available and usually work out to be less per day. 0590-89-01-54 % 599-545-4541. 0590-87-38-22 % 599-545-3281 % 599-544-2168. 0590-87-83-71 % 599-544-2168 (associated with Europcar) % 599-545-2393 Local Car Rental Companies Best Deal Car Rental Cannegie Car Rental Executive Car Rental Route 66 Jeeps and SUVs Saint Louis Car Rental Sens Unique Smart Cars Valley Car Rental % 800-621-2865 (US). 599-545-3061 % 599-545-3465 % 599-545-4028 % 0590-29-65-88 % 0590-87-02-41 % 0590-87-22-88 % 599-557-2225. verify that the credit card you use covers you if you have an accident. air conditioning and unlimited mileage. See page 64 for international and toll-free telephone numbers and website addresses of major car rental companies. Rental rates vary season-to-season.
numbers beginning with area code 0590 connect to an office on the French side. They spent time in the hospital emergency room. Martin. You’ll pay about $25 per day for a scooter. but got no help from the police. If you want to roar around the island on a Harley. The boy on the back repeatedly kicked the reader until she and her husband fell. n By Scooter & Motorcycle The best way to get around the island is by car. when boys on another motorcycle pulled up beside them. Unless you’re a skilled. stick to side-roads. Martin’s roads are in good condition. especially when a cruise ship is in port.80 n Getting Around Numbers beginning with area code 599 connect to an office on the Dutch side. but St. experienced biker. While they lay injured on the road. Motorcycle Rentals Eugène Moto Location 2 Roues Super Bikes (Harley Davidson) Rodael Rental % 0590-29-65-89 or 0590-87-13-97 % 0590-87-20-59 % 599-544-2704 % 599-542-5155 . so scooters and motorcycles are often used. and $45 to $100 per day for a motorcycle. but sustained additional injuries. A reader writes that she and her husband were riding a motorcycle on a main road during daylight on the French side of St. plan to spend around $150 per day during high season. They were able to fend off their attackers. who said these motorcycle attacks were becoming more common on the island. Traffic in Philipsburg and Marigot is heavy. and the main highways are busy during hours when locals are going to or from work. more cycle-riding youths appeared and attempted to steal the motorcycle.
% 599-5454384. www. stmartinstmaarten. . kayak/bike combo trips. however. and there are several on the island. Y H For 127 years. so you’re free to tie the knot. $39-$49 for a two.By Bicycle n 81 n By Bicycle While off-road riding is a popular sport on St. www. have the official ceremony on the Dutch side and celebrate on the French side. If you want to bike to secluded beaches or tour the countryside. including bike. Simpson Bay. % 590-87-05-11. fax 599-544-4143. You will pay about $18 per day to rent a mountain bike. Martin Getting Married oneymooning on St. Bike Tours & Rentals Authentic French Tours Tri Sport Marigot. helmet. fax 599-545-4385.com. Martin.sintmaartenwedding. The requirements and paperwork are just too difficult. most streets have no shoulder and too much traffic to allow safe biking. sign up for a guided tour with someone who knows the terrain. Allow a couple of months to make plans and process the documents. and bike rentals. % 599-544-4143. Martin is terrific.com/trisport St. Tropical Weddings and Honeymoons.or three-hour tour. ask for Lucie Davis. Getting legally married there is another story. and around $100 for a full-day combo trip that includes all equipment and lunch. The following offer a variety of guided tours. But in 1997. Dutch St. unless you’re a French citizen. A wedding consultant can save you time and headaches. fax 590-87-99-47 Airport Road. and water bottle. this injunction was repealed. Don’t consider a wedding on the French side. You can. Martin had a law that prohibited nonresidents from getting married on the island.
fax 599-542-4267): n n n n n n n A birth certificate for both the bride and groom bearing a raised official stamp. Weddings In St. People under 18 years of age. DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO GET HITCHED You will be required to submit the following documents to the Chief Registrar at the Census Office on Soualiga Road in Philipsburg (% 599-542-2457. ask for Jean Rich. fax 599-543-6007. % 599-5575478.weddings-in-stmaarten. fax 599-544-3201. Sint Maarten Marry-Me. Forms are available from most attorneys. but they have an attentive live staff to handle every detail. The legal address of both the bride and groom. www. ask for Joan Bethune or Marie Williams. % 305-768-0233 (US). www. Maarten. ask for Henneke Lee.enchanteweddings. . Proof of length of stay on St.com. % 599-547-2067.82 n Getting Married Caribbean Wedding Consultants. must have written parental approval for marriage. Martin (the bride and groom must be on the island for at least a week). he or she must provide death or divorce certificates. Enchanté Weddings. % 599-551-3449.com is obviously an online company. sintmaartenmarry-me. Valid passports for both the bride and groom. A declaration of marital status for both the bride and groom that is no older than three months and stating that both are single. 599-542-2214. If either the bride or groom is widowed or divorced.com. some notaries.com. and from wedding consultants. www.
% 599-557-5804. Maarten Taxi Association. Martin. On a recent visit.to threehour tour for two people. Expect to pay about $35 for a two. Prince Personal Tours. St. Martin n Group Sightseeing Tours Several reputable companies run scheduled sightseeing tours from both sides of the island. Weddings inside the Marriage Hall require two witnesses. French St. Marriages held outside of the Marriage Hall in Philipsburg must be observed by six witnesses. % 590-87-78-87. Be sure the tour you sign up for . You can find drivers at Wathey Square in Philipsburg or at the taxi kiosk near the waterfront market in Marigot. Top Quality Limousine. to make sure you understand his accent. consider hiring a member of either the Dutch or French taxi association as a guide.Taxi Tours n 83 The official marriage will be performed by the Officer of the Civil Registry. Exploring the Island n Taxi Tours If you want a private orientation tour of both sides of St. Dutch St. but you can have a clergyman perform a religious service afterwards in the Marriage Hall of the Philipsburg Census Office. either in person or by phone. Be sure to request an English-speaking driver who knows both sides of the island well. % 147 (hotline) or 599. Staff members at your hotel reception desk and the owners or managers of good restaurants are another good source of guide recommendations. % 599-547-4264. and agree on a fee before you start out. Martin’s Taxi Service & Information Center (Marigot). drivers on the Dutch side were charging a bit less. so make a couple of calls and compare the itineraries before you decide on a guide. You may also want to speak directly with the driver.545-4317.
and book one or more tours that you know you’ll enjoy. www. fax 599-5442858 Simpson Bay.84 n Exploring the Island Divi Plage.com . % 590-87-25-61. If you want to save precious vacation time. % 599-545-4384. Front Street. many resorts organize tours for guests at special prices. During high season.caribbeanducktours. Philipsburg has an English-speaking or bilingual guide. do a little research before you leave home.trisportskm. % 599-544-2858. Tour Companies Transco Winston Sightseeing Tours Calypso Tours TriSport Caribbean Duck Tours Quartier d’Orléans. www. fax 599-5454385. % 599-552-4637. so check with the activities director before you book something on your own. fax 590-87-25-6 Cole Bay. Request current information by fax or email to save the expense of making long-distance calls.com Philipsburg. % 590-87-30-16. fax 590-87-39-30 Quartier d’Orléans.
But no one ever walks through without stopping. John Philips. If you don’t stop to shop. Philipsburg is built on a narrow stretch of land that separates the natural harbor of Great Bay from the marshy Great Salt Pond. consider dividing your tour into smaller excursions. . Thomas (US Virgin Islands) for popularity among duty-free shoppers. you can easily tour the entire island in a day.Independent Touring n 85 n Independent Touring If you have a car or motorcycle. linger awhile in Grand Case.A Walking Tour of Philipsburg The principal city of Dutch Sint Maarten is second only to Charlotte Amalie on St. you’ll want to schedule time to explore Philipsburg and Marigot at leisure. Ideally. and over the St. so plan on spending most of a morning or afternoon browsing. and take frequent beach breaks. a Scotsman who served as a commander in the Dutch military. but if you’re staying for several days. founded the town in 1763. Martin Philipsburg panorama . This is good for cruise-ship passengers with limited time. you can walk the town and see its few sights in less than an hour.
the town square. along Front and one way toward the west along Back.) Paid parking is available a block closer to Front Street at the corner of Peterson Street and Cannegieter Street. Cannegeiter Street. just south of the Government Building. There is no charge for the first 20 minutes. then rates are $1 per hour. Some of the nearby shops and restaurants will validate your parking stub to allow free parking. but few signs tell you this. Voorstraat. and Achterstraat. A good place to begin your tour is Cyrus Wathey (say watty) Square. Narrow north-south lanes (steegjes) with names ending in steeg connect the four main thoroughfares. PARKING Parking is prohibited on Philipsburg’s streets. Walter Nisbet Road (also called Pondfill Road) brings traffic in and out of town along the southern edge of Great Salt Pond. where shuttle boats drop off passengers from cruise . Traffic travels one way. Rates are $1 per hour. Philipsburg was wide enough for only two parallel streets. Back then. also two-way. but Voorstraat (now called Front Street) and Achterstraat (now called Back Street) still hold the most interest for visitors. landfill has almost doubled Philipsburg’s width. west to east.86 n Exploring the Island next 200 years residents survived by fishing and selling salt extracted from the pond. the former De Ruyterplein. up to $14 for a full day. if you buy something. The principal public buildings were built around De Ruyterplein. You also can park at the new public lot at Bobby’s Marina on the waterfront at the east end of town. Today. runs the length of town between Nisbet and Back. (Watch for signs pointing the way as you enter town. one block north bordering the Great Salt Pond. site of Captain Hodge Pier. and four roads now run parallel from one end of town to the other. which bordered the sea. Avoid being towed by parking free near the police station on Walter Nesbeth Road.
88 n Exploring the Island Wathey Square ships docked in the harbor. Dutch commander of the island.7 million makeover after Hurricane Luis ripped through the island in 1995. restrooms. the area will be especially crowded with taxi drivers. hairbraiding artisans. The pier was given a $1. Philipsburg . tour operators. and telephones. If a cruise ship is in port. and people hawking timeshares and fruit drinks. designed by John Handleigh and built first in 1792 by Willem Hendrik Rink. an ATM. The covered pier sits opposite the historic and picturesque Courthouse. then rebuilt in 1825 after the original structure Courthouse. and tourist-friendly conveniences now include a tourist information office.
between Colombian Emeralds and Oro de Sol jewelry stores. The green-trimmed. so you won’t have the pleasure of walking along the lovely beach unless you turn down one of the narrow access passages or cut through a hotel lobby. prison. a signpost points the way to casinos. This pedestrian-only shopping arcade is off the north side of Front Street.Old Street is a personal favorite. surrounded by a quaint picket fence. two-story building faces the square.Independent Touring n 89 View of Philipsburg was damaged by a hurricane in 1819. it has been used as a fire station. Turn toward the east and follow the one-way automobile traffic along Front Street toward what is locally known as the “Head of Town. St. . It is topped by a bell tower. Martin . and restaurants. Over the years. shops. and shaded by a palm tree. and a post office. On the square. east of Wathey Square. toward the street.” All the buildings face inward. white. Plants and potted palms line the block-long lane that houses specialty boutiques and a French café.
antique maps. The Guavaberry Emporium. Walk through the antiques-furnished lobby to the veranda facing Great Bay Beach. Stop in for a free sample of the bittersweet drink. If you like it.90 n Exploring the Island Among the mostly characterless architecture of the dutyfree shops. shards of Arawak pottery. order a guavaberry colada to sip while you browse through the shop’s other island-made products (% 542-2965. www. The Sint Maarten Museum at Museum Arcade.com). Spend a few minutes looking over old photographs. occupies a restored two-story house built in the 1800s. Old timers remember when the legendary folk liqueur was made in private homes and quaffed on holidays and during cultural celebrations. 7 Front Street. The Pasanggrahan Hotel at 15 Front Street is the oldest inn on the island and Old Street the original structure was the home of St. where you can enjoy a quiet drink.guavaberry. Pasanggrahan is an Indonesian word meaning “guest house. with shoppers zipping in and out of the colorful old former governor’s home to buy flavored liqueurs made with the local guavaberry fruit and rum. items retrieved from the HMS Proselyte (a ship that sank off .” and the West Indies-style inn hosted Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands for a short time during World War II when she was en route to Canada after being exiled from her country by the Nazis. It’s a busy place. Martin’s first governor. was built on the site of a former synagogue. stop by Wilhelmina’s old room (which has been converted into the Sydney Greenstreet Bar) or have lunch in the jungle-like setting of the hotel’s restaurant (% 542-3588). which occupies a late 18thcentury cedar townhouse at 8-10 Front Street. take notice of the few traditional buildings and gingerbread-design houses. plantation-era artifacts.
% 542-4917. But of course. one of the nicest city beaches in the Caribbean.Great Bay Beach. Just east of the museum. page 127. and Saturday. you may be able to spot Saba in the distance. St. and the mix of crushed shells and golden sand makes for easy strolling. turn right toward the water into the . You can browse the street-level gift shop without charge and visit the second-floor displays by paying a $1 fee (free for children). and an exhibit on damage caused by Hurricane Luis in 1995. C’est Français. On a clear day. 10 am-2 pm. walk along . for more information. Martin .Sea Street Arcade. The beach is about 65 feet wide. a pedestrian-only brick-paved lane lined with specialty shops and cafés.A Walking Tour of Marigot The capital of French Saint Martin is far more charming than its Dutch counterpart. (See Adventures on Water.) To get back to Cyrus Wathey Square. They are Guavaberry Emporium open MondayFriday. n’est-ce pas? . Philipsburg. Pick up a snack and carry it down to the sand. you may spot one of the sailboats that competed in past America’s Cup competitions leaving the docks at Bobby’s Marina (% 542-2366) for a short-course race. You can sign up to join one of the crews for a three-hour sail by stopping at the 12 Metre Challenge office (% 5420045) at the marina.Independent Touring n 91 Fort Amsterdam in 1801). 10 am-4 pm. where you can watch men shelling conch. If your timing’s right.
St. the French probably would have left the marshy mangrove to the birds and settled elsewhere. is at the northeast edge of town. If it weren’t for the natural harbor provided by wind-protected Marigot Bay. Commercialism is less apparent here than in Philipsburg. Contemporary boutiques have moved into colonial buildings and Creole homes. the town has retained much of its innate French charm and West Indian style. park free in front of the Office du Tourisme on Rue du Morne. so today we have a lovely town built along the sandy curve of a yacht-filled bay. and new development blends esthetically with the old. You can walk nonstop through the small town in about an hour. and for the most part. but Marigot is meant to be savored slowly in small sips. were willing to suffer most anything for love of their boats and the sea.Independent Touring n 93 Marigot (say mar-ee-go) means “backwater” in French and refers to the swampy conditions the first colonists found when they arrived on the island’s western shore in the 1600s. Here you can pick up maps and brochures and . If you drive into town. starring Sandra Bullock. anchored by a Match supermarket. the road leading into town from Sandy Ground to the south. Return in the evening to dine by candlelight at one of the waterfront restaurants and enjoy nighttime entertainment. or in the waterfront lot near the market on Blvd. Allot an entire morning or afternoon for strolling through the shops and lingering over lunch. and the air-conditioned West Indies Shopping Mall and office complex rises above the waterfront below Fort Saint-Louis. as now. Martin Did you know? Marigot Harbor was the scene of a mock cruise ship crash in the movie. Speed 2. Begin your walking tour at the Office du Tourisme at the south end of town on the main road leading into town from Sandy Ground. But sailors then. de France. A modern shopping complex.
More recent history is depicted through numerous artifacts from the island’s colonial period. % 590-87-57-21. The office is open Monday-Friday. and jewelry crafted by indigenous inhabitants as far back as 1800 BC. 8 am-noon.94 n Exploring the Island Marigot ask one of the friendly English-speaking representatives for information. 8:30 am-1 pm and 2:30-5:30 pm. stop by the history and archeology museum called Sur les Traces des Arawaks (On the Trail of the Arawaks). Saturday. Contemporary local art and handmade crafts are displayed in the gift . The pieces were dug up during archeological excavations made by the Hope Estate Archaeological Society and. Inside. and through photographs and antique maps from the last century. experts are able to link tribes that once lived on the island with natives of South America and follow their trail of migration from the Orinoco River basin in present-day Venezuela. which shares a parking lot with the tourist office. pieces of pottery. Other pre-Colombian exhibits include a reproduction of a 1. by comparing their design. Before you leave the area. the exhibits (labeled in English and French) include tools made from shells.500-year-old burial site that was discovered at the excavation site in 1994.
(Rue de la Liberté. St. % 590-29-22-84. Ask about a group or private tour with one of the English-speaking guides. Lovely boats fill the marina. jugglers. which parallels Marigot Bay. Monday-Saturday. Boulevard de France ends at Rue de la République. walk west toward the sea and turn north onto Boulevard de France. magicians. Leaving Port Royale. If you’re interested in obtaining more information about the ongoing excavations at Hope Estate in the hills near Grand Case.Independent Touring n 95 shop on the second floor. This lovely piece was sculpted by Martin Lynn. This is the best people-watching spot on the island. The new enclosed and airconditioned West Indies Mall sits opposite the harbor. or visit on your own.Port Royale is an easy walk from the Office du Tourisme and the museum. contact the Archeological Society. and shops stay open late. one of Marigot’s best shopping streets. A taxi stand and public restrooms are nearby. Even if you don’t want to buy anything. and boutiques and restaurants face the water along a U-shaped portion of the lagoon. Martin . % 29-22-84. Just head north in the direction of town and watch for a passageway on your right that leads to the waterfront on Simpson Bay Lagoon. mimes. Caribbean painter Gloria Lynn. and the busy harbor is across the street. . 9 am-1 pm and 3-6 pm. stroll up and down the narrow roads that run more or less parallel to each other south of République. Stop to admire the oversized statue of an island woman sitting at the head of the marketplace. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings during high season. linger over café au lait at an outdoor café. bands. who lives with his wife. Entrance fees are $5 for adults and $2 for children. on the main street in Grand Case. and dancers entertain along the boardwalk. or enjoy a gourmet meal at one of the petit restaurants. You will feel as if you’re in a small village on the French Riviera as you browse the chic shops. This will take you to a large square where the public market is held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. and the road stretches east past a serious assortment of sassy shops. Rue Maurasse.
which leads up the hill to . liberated the island and reclaimed Fort Saint-Louis. during the turbulent time that led up to the French Revolution.) The quality and quantity of French goods will impress you. If you get tired or bored. and controlled the island. It’s a picturesque Creole village with a fine beach and a number of excellent eateries. The contrast creates a festive atmosphere. The view is terrific. If you don’t want to make the 10-minute uphill hike. overlooking the harbor above the West Indies Mall. return to your car and drive up. . follow Rue Fichaut north off Rue de la République to Rue de l’Eglise.Fort Saint-Louis. while local cooks serve island specialties from open-air lo-los (snack shacks). Allow your energy level to dictate your route after you finish exploring downtown. The fortress was abandoned after 1815 when the Treaty of Vienna put an end to English-French competition for Caribbean territory. The French built the stone fort between 1767 and 1789. Most of the European-trained gourmet chefs are set up in authentic West Indies houses. If you’re still going strong. The English held the fort.96 n Exploring the Island Marigot from Fort Saint-Louis and Rue du Général de Gaulle are the main streets. backed by slaves who hoped to be freed. for two years until Victor Hugues. pop into a little bar for a glass of French wine. A Walking Tour of Grand Case Grand Case (say grawn caz) is tiny and has one main road that runs for about a mile down the center of town. Martin to attack and conquer the fort in 1794. British troops took advantage of the unstable political situation and slavery problems on St.
page 189. so don’t hesitate to join the fun. Martin fishcompete Grand Case Beach Resort (Paul Sullivan) ermen against Anguilla fishermen for bragging rights – and. a beer. Grand Case grows quiet and glitters with lights from restaurant row. St. Aéroport de L’Espérance is located at the salt pond on the east side of town. until you find one that suits your tastes and budget. Beginning about 6 pm. adding to the noise and excitement. Martin . perhaps. Remember. but not excessive. After dark. Spectators gather on the sand to cheer for the sailors. reservations are essential. you’ll be enjoying exqui- St. the village hosts a street party of Tuesday evenings called Harmony Nights. Tourists fit right in. During high season. for information on individual restaurants. Prices are a bit high. but during the summer. boat races and jump-ups (outdoor dance parties) add to the convivial spirit.Independent Touring n 97 See Where to Eat. and small planes on final approach come in low over the beach. Drinks and snacks are sold from temporary kiosks. the street is blocked off and live music fills the air. On many weekends and holidays. and often local bands play near the pier. you can stroll along at dusk checking out the menus posted outside each restaurant. On alternating Saturdays throughout the year. Artists set out their work and restaurants offer specials. Tip: During the winter tourist season.
Look for picturesque scenes at the following sites: . then heads back south past Orient Bay and Oyster Pond. no longer live full time on the island. watch on the east side for number 83. and the rolling countryside is sprinkled with flowers in flaming colors. Holland. the home studio of Gloria and Martin Lynn. but this is one of the busiest highways in the Caribbean. on the south coast. Island Highlights – A Driving Tour One highway more or less circles St. Otherwise.” If you see paintings outside on the covered front porch. allow plenty of time for photo stops. so plan your route to avoid rush-hour traffic.98 n Exploring the Island site cuisine prepared by a European-trained chef from products flown in from the US. or France. Their artist sons. As it loops across the northern part of the island. You can do the circuit in one long day. it swings off to Simpson Bay and Princess Juliana Airport. All paint scenes of island life. it scrapes by Grand Case. Robert and Peter. on the west coast. Tip: As you wander down Boulevard de Grand Case (the main street). with the French capital (Marigot). and their colorful work is sold in galleries. Also. The gregarious Lynns welcome visitors “by appointment or by chance. and the door is open. call ahead. % 590-87-77-24. The shore is lined with gorgeous bays. drop in. but some of their work is on display at the house along with Gloria’s and Martin’s. Martin is best known for his large sculpture of a West Indies woman that sits beside the public market in Marigot. Martin and connects the Dutch capital (Philipsburg). Along the way.
one of you will have to back St. offers awesome views. is named for the woodpigeons or doves that once inhabited this hilly area. Beautiful homes are scattered along Falaise aux Oiseaux between Baie Rouge (Red Bay) and Baie des Prunes (Plum Bay). and perhaps a row of cotton or a coffee bush. inland from Friars Bay. landowners produced large crops in this area. a steep ridge overlooking the Caribbean on the northern edge of Terres Basses (Low Lands). Many cars can’t make it. so be prepared to turn back if the going gets too rough. This is a high-end residential area with lovely homes set in the hills above the Atlantic.Pic Paradis (Paradise Peak). Goats and cows graze along the dead-end road that runs past a scattering of Creole houses surrounded by flowers and herb gardens.391 feet. The valley at the foot of Pic Paradis produces the fruit and vegetables sold at the public market in Marigot.Independent Touring n n 99 Guana Bay. The paved road becomes a single lane as you climb. rutted road (off the main highway north of Marigot) that leads east through the village of Rambaud. and you may spot 100-year-old mango trees. so if you meet another car coming head-on. a small bit of ground that would be an island if it were not connected to St. northeast of Marigot. the island’s highest point at 1. n . At one time. n Falaise aux Oiseaux (Cliff of the Birds). n Colombier. a few stalks of sugar cane. off the secondary road that leads to the east coast from Great Salt Pond in Philipsburg. Martin by thin ribbons of land that form the north and south shores of Simpson Bay Lagoon. You can drive there on a steep. Martin . You can get out to Terres Basses by taking Airport Road from Philipsburg or the Sandy Ground Road from Marigot.
n Anse Marcel. Louis. the single lane becomes a rocky track. off the main road south of Grand Case. Barts. but probably won’t be stopped. Eventually. You’ll pass a guard gate. Philipsburg. northeast of Grand Case. the entire coastline. Once you’re at the summit. You can also hike to the top on the Sentier des Crêtes. reached by a secondary road off the main highway just past L’Espérance airport. and across the ocean to St. Residents in the area simply like to keep track of who’s roaming about.100 n Exploring the Island View from Pic Paradis up until you find a spot that is suitable for pulling over. . It helps to have a four-wheel-drive vehicle with plenty of horsepower. and Anguilla. a strenuous trail that begins on the west end of Colombier. unless you look like trouble. you can see Marigot. is a small village above Friar’s Bay that has majestic views of the western coastline. Tintamarre. is a secluded village in the hills along a lovely bay. n St.
which is on Baie de l’Embouchure. It’s a 3. It has a surprising number of unusual tropical animals. Try to visit when the doors first open in order to witness new babies being born and get in on the most active part of a butterfly’s day. Before you leave.thebutterflyfarm. as well as lots of turtles and iguanas. which is one of the rarest endangered species in the world. The farm is open daily 9 am-4:30 pm. Martin . Most of the animals St. scoop up a couple of unique souvenirs from the gift shop and linger in the outside courtyard to enjoy refreshments in the company of liberated butterflies. The $10 admission fee includes complimentary return visits. Maarten Zoological & Botanical Park. One of the most interesting animals is the golden lion tamarin. The St.La Ferme des Papillons (The Butterfly Farm). www. % 590-87-31-21. north of Orleans. Look for the sign on the main highway as you approach Orient Beach.Independent Touring n 101 Worth a Visit . If you’re traveling with kids.000-square-foot mesh-enclosed garden with waterfalls and stocked fish ponds. Take the guided tour to learn amazing facts and hear amusing stories about these gorgeous little creatures. Don’t miss this on the French side just north of the town of Orleans. with the last tour at 3:30. a long-tailed monkey with a lion-like mane. Hundreds of majestic butterflies from all over the world flutter freely to new-age music and land weightlessly on visitors’ bodies. Turn toward La Plage du Galion (Galion Beach). or you happen to be an animal lover. so make this stop early in your vacation.com. make a visit to the zoo. and more than 180 parrots (recently relocated from the now-closed Parrot Jungle) that fly freely throughout the three-acre park.
Mount Vernon Plantation. and the Bat Cage. Now . 10 am-6 pm in summer and 9 am-5 pm in Flamboyant flowers winter. which includes developing a pleasing environment for the preservation of Caribbean animals. stmaartenpark. The entrance fee is $10 for adults. Cotton-top tamarind Watch for yellow signs pointing the way to the zoo. which is on Arch Road on the north side of Great Salt Pond. Birds are completely enclosed. General Manager Franck Caulet has big plans for the zoological park. www. Stop by early in your vacation. but you can walk into the aviary cages. It’s open daily. then come back as often as you like to revisit your favorite animals. in the residential area of Madame Estate. Monkey Island. Also. and your ticket includes complimentary return visits. Recently. additional trees and plants have gone in along new paths that lead to the animal enclosures. $5 for children two-12 years of age.102 n Exploring the Island are in open concrete enclosures with no fence. % 599-543-2030.com. a new gift shop and restaurant have opened. Need to escape the beach or entertain kids for a couple of hours? This new park and museum near Orient Beach was once a working plantation. directly across from Philipsburg.
coffee and cotton were important cash crops. % 590-29-50-62. It’s a true step back in time. part of the restored 18th-century sugar plantation. Tickets are priced at $12 for adults and $6 for children between the ages of two and 12. and ex- St. (Don’t pass up the cheesecake. and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity. stop at the small shop offering Caribbean-made souvenirs and art. Before you leave. Martin .) If you do want to hike. You can also explore on Loterie Farm (Jessica Payne) your own. An audio tour is included in the admission price and takes about an hour. The grounds and buildings are open daily 9 am-5 pm.Independent Touring n 103 its shaded walking paths link historical buildings and period replicas scattered among tropical plants.Loterie Farm. . Look for the Plantation sign on the main road between Orient Bay and Grand Case. a 1½-hour guided interpretive tour leaves on several mornings from the café. You don’t have to be a hiker to love this 150acre compound built in a dense secondary tropical forest. The original farmhouse was discovered in 1995 after Hurricane Luis blew away vegetation that had been hiding it for several generations. Much of the fantastic food served in the open-air dining room is grown in the farm’s garden and creatively prepared by Chef Julie. You can wander around on your own and read the French/English signs that describe plantation life when sugar. Many people come here to eat at the Hidden Forest Café.
This museum is set up in a large green and white Creole house at the top of a hill. as well as interesting household objects from the plantation period. Admission is $5 for adults and $2. which is open Tuesday-Sunday. Adventures on Water n Best Beaches St. You can hike the trails from sunup to sundown. Adults take a 1½-hour trip through 200-year-old tropical trees. 11 am-11 pm (last orders are taken around 9 pm). 10 am-4 pm. which leads east through the village of Rambaud.” a zip-line treetop tour of the forest.50 for children under the age of 12. The garden and house display tools and machines used in cultivating sugar cane and making rum. Call for information about the guided hikes. Look for the giant Old House sign suspended high between two poles on the road between Orleans and Orient Bay. Look for signs to the farm off the main highway between Marigot and Grand Case.com. unless they are in a protected cove. www. It was once the great house of an 18th-century sugar plantation and is worth a visit when you’re in the Orient Bay area. Martin has 36 beaches. % 590-87-32-67. about one for every square mile of land. rare lithographs. and you will be asked for a $5 “preserve-the-farm” donation if you explore on your own. Schedule about 45 minutes to an hour to tour the house and garden. The café is open Tuesday-Saturday. which usually depart around 10 am on three or four mornings per week. The newest feature at Loterie Farm is called “The Fly Zone. 11 am-3 pm and 6-11 pm. The Caribbean beaches tend to be . and on Sundays. The cost of guided tours ranges from $25 to $45 per person. Old House. while seated in a harness suspended on sturdy cables. the island’s highest point. Those on the windward Atlantic side usually have more waves.loteriefarm. and ancient maps.104 n Adventures on Water perienced hikers will want to go all the way to the top of Pic Paradis. Kids take the “Ti Tarzan” tour on swinging ropes. % 59087-86-16.
local bands set up on the beach to play original tunes and longtime island favorites with a calypso beat. St. browse at the open-air boutiques. The calm waters are always filled with colorful Jet Skis. A few beaches can only be reached via public-access trails that bypass the resorts. Martin. When you’re bored with naked bodies. Parasails glide overhead and gorgeously bronzed bodies stroll the shore. is the famous nudist resort. Club Orient (% 590-87-33-85). you’ll have plenty of company. make it Orient. but you can usually rent chairs if you don’t want to simply spread a towel on the sand. only hotel guests are welcome to use the lounge chairs and umbrellas set up along these private stretches. All are open to the public. but this highly developed mile-long stretch of powdery white sand is just too much fun to miss. Of course. Tiki-hut snack bars and full-service restaurants provide plenty to eat and drink. at the south end of the crescent-shaped beach. even those behind the guarded gates of posh resorts. You can strip and join the guests (the resort has changing rooms). windsurfers and Hobie Cats.Orient Bay Beach (Baie Orientale) If you only visit one beach on St. take your . On many days. Martin Club Orient Beach . and laughing kids run in and out of the waves. and loll on the beach.Best Beaches n 105 calmer. Of course. or just stand around in your swimsuit and gawk like a North American tourist.
a boutique. Try Paradisio (% 590-29-40-01) for fantastic drinks. some of the friendliest guys on the beach. At other French-side beaches and pools. NUDE BEACHES You’ve probably heard about the nude beaches on St. Try . and under-$10 sandwiches and salads. Pedro’s (no phone) for colder-than-cold beer. and one section of Cupecoy Beach is popular with nudists. discreet topless sunbathing is tolerated. and numerous bars and restaurants are open throughout the day and evening to provide a variety of food. choose from a variety of feet-in-the-sand café/bars. All the activity will make you hungry. and open-air showers or enclosed restrooms where you can dress before dinner. . when the band plays. massage huts. and frozen drinks. Kontiki (% 590-87-43-27) for grilled fish and sushi in a Polynesian setting. Kakao Beach (% 590-87-43-26) for pizza. Baie Orientale (Orient Beach). and you may see an occasional naturalist sunning au naturel. steaks. and live music anytime a cruise ship is in port. kosher dishes. many women go topless. Boo Boo Jam (% 590-66-17-99) for pizza and burgers. especially on Sundays.106 n Adventures on Water snorkel and mask out for a spin around the bay. with watersports. Some are more like day resorts.Waikiki Beach (% 59087-43-19) for grilled freshly caught lobster. These don’t have any beach amenities. Coco Beach (% 590-87-34-62) for breakfast. Martin. Actually. For a quick meal or specialty drink. drinks with names that’ll make you chuckle. but the food and drinks are every bit as tasty. . and the protective coral reef just off the beach is teeming with critters. On the Dutch side. fajitas. only one is known for total nudity. and seafood. The water is tranquil and clear most days. pasta. chair and umbrella rentals. Pirate (no phone) for outstanding blender drinks made by Glen and served right to your lounge chair by Frank.Bikini Beach Tapas Bar & Grill (% 590-87-43-25) for a pricey but dependably good casual meal.
There are no watersports operations or bars. Martin Cupecoy Bay Beach This is totally different from Orient. and umbrellas. During peak season. and absolutely gorgeous. St. and they offer special deals during the summer. Call ahead for information or to schedule a trip. Off-season. which gives a whole new meaning to the term bare boating. High-season rates are in the $85 per person range. The round-trip cost is $10 to Green Cay and $15 to Pinel. up the stairs leading to the villas of the Cupecoy Beach Club (% 599-545-2243) for snacks. . except for day tourists. Pinel has a restaurant. drinks. Take the main road east from Grand Case or north from Philipsburg. but Green Cay is deserted. but you can rent an umbrella or pick up a snack from the guys who run a mobile operation on the north end of the beach. and be aware that some businesses close for several weeks during late summer. and Pinel. From shore. Make arrangements through Dolphin Watersports (% 590-87-28-75) at Club Orient. Tiko Tiko. You can also stop at the Cliffside Beach Bar. The water is too rough for children. a luxury catamaran. you’ll see the tiny isles of Green Cay. phone for dinner reservations at the larger restaurants to guarantee a table. so just stroll along reading menus until you find something that sounds good. and be aware that this is a clothing-optional event. You can take a water taxi from Kontiki Watersports (% 590-87-46-89) to Green Cay or Pinel for a day of snorkeling and sunning on the secluded beaches. Tintamarre. but you’ll find something open from around 8 am until about 9 pm.Best Beaches n 107 All the restaurants and bars are within walking distance along the beach. It’s easy to find Orient Beach because the restaurants and watersports outfitters post signs along the highway. and watch for signs to Baie Orientale. It’s almost on the French-Dutch border that runs through Terres Basses (the Low Lands) just west of the airport and is noted for its cliffs and caves. sails to Tintamarre for an allday beach party. Hours vary from place to place. so adults (including gays and nudists seeking privacy) enjoy plenty of laid-back peace and quiet. call ahead to check on closing hours if you want to have dinner.
There’s a steep drop-off and lots of rocks. Look for the picturesque Cupecoy Boulder. You can walk from one beach to the other – they are similar. Just park in the lot next to the Cupecoy Beach sign and walk through the opening in the low wall to a path leading to the sand. especially early on a weekday. restaurants. casinos. The star of Maho’s shady . which makes getting into the water a little tricky. Maho & Mullet Bay Beaches Located between the airport and Cupecoy Bay. Tip: The West End of Cupecoy was suffering from construction woes at publication time. due to the nearby resorts.108 n Adventures on Water Cupecoy Bay Beach It’s easy to stake out your own little piece of sand. and you can walk either direction from there to find a good place to spread a towel. these Dutchside beaches are popular and often quite crowded. but different enough that each has its own fans. a big double-humped rock that juts from the sea. and bars. The government has issued warnings to the developers who are responsible and the mess may be cleaned up by the time of your visit. This marks the midway point. The beach changes all the time as sand washes in and out with the tide.
rock-strewn beach is ,The Sunset Beach Bar (% 599-5453998), a favorite happy-hour gathering place that roars with the sound of island music and 747 jet engines. The water can be rough at times, but it’s fun to float on your back and watch the jumbo jets glide directly over you. Mullet has a mile-long beach with calmer water, but enough waves to be fun. When conditions are right, surfers turn out to ride the challenging swells. Palms provide shade, making this a favorite spot for local families on weekends. The island’s only golf course is nearby, but all the buildings are still closed due to hurricane damage several years ago, so the place has a rundown, almost spooky appearance.
Simpson Bay Beach
This crescent-shaped beach extends from the airport east to Pelican Key, but is one of the least visited on the island. Its location near the busy Airport Road probably accounts for this, but you may enjoy the privacy. It’s a great place to jog or stroll. There are no watersports operators or resorts, but the nearby village provides lots of places to eat. Pelican Keys/Pelican Beach, at the far eastern end of the bay, has a timeshare resort and a large watersports outfitter (Aqua Mania, % 599544-2640) offering equipment rentals, scuba diving, and sailing excursions. The sand is protected by rock jetties on both
Adventures on Water
sides, and you can use the lounge chairs near the two beach bars without charge. On the west end of Simpson Bay, refreshments are available from the pool-side bar at Mary’s Boon Beach Plantation (% 599-545-7000).
Great Bay Beach
Philipsburg’s city beach is surprisingly nice. It’s completely developed, with the shops, restaurants, and hotels facing inward toward Front Street. Fresh sand has replaced that which HurriGreat Bay Beach cane Lenny blew away in 1999, allowing you to stroll the beach from one end of town to the other. Beach bars are set up right on the sand, and several restaurants offer patio seating overlooking the sea. You can shop for awhile, then take a swim or nap on the sand.
Some of the island’s best snorkeling and diving is on the easily accessible coral reefs just off lovely Dawn Beach. The water is too rough sometimes, but if you hit a calm day, snorkel out from the center of the beach, cross over some dead coral, and begin looking for schools of fish and squid. The beach is long, with white sand that meets the inlet to Oyster Pond at Babit Point on the north end. You can see St. Barts in the distance. This is a wonderful place to spend the day, and early birds will want to arrive in time to watch the fabulous sunrise. If you don’t make it out this early, consider a moonlit stroll after dinner.
Bar on Dawn Beach
Look for the lumpy, bumpy road leading to Dawn Beach off the signed secondary road to Oyster Pond. Park at Scavenger’s Beach Bar, % 599-543-6155, a good place for burgers, or get a plate of ribs from Ms B’s lolo (beach shack). Oyster Pond isn’t a pond at all, but rather a half-French, half-Dutch, shell-shaped bay that is almost completely surrounded by land. The French side is a well-developed yachting center and home to the popular Captain Oliver’s Marina (% 590-87-40-86). Guests at Captain Oliver’s are water-taxied over to Dawn Beach for swimming, sunning, and snorkeling.
,Le Galion Beach
This beach on Baie de l’Embouchure, just south of Orient Bay, is locally known as Coconut Grove, because of the stand
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of coconut palms that shaded the beach when Le Galion Hotel was still open (it closed in 1990). Both the hotel and the trees are long gone, and efforts by residents to reestablish the grove have failed because thieves (landscapers for the new resorts are prime suspects) steal new trees as soon as they are planted. Regardless of what you call it, this is the island’s best windsurfing beach. Kids like it too because of the shallow, calm waters near shore. Residents voted the beach “Best for Kids” in a recent survey conducted by the local newspaper, The Daily Herald. Windsurfing and kitesurfing rentals and lessons are available, and you’ll enjoy watching others, even if you don’t try surfing yourself. Drop by ,Chez Pat (% 590-87-37-25) and talk with Pat Turner about your watersport options. He’s a US citizen, born in Rio de Janeiro, who’s lived on the island more
than 20 years and owned a watersports operation most of that time. If he can’t teach you to windsurf, you just can’t learn.
A splendid 1,600-foot white sand beach lines this narrow cove cut deep into the northern shore. Some of the island’s poshest resorts are tucked into the 150-acre nature preserve, along with Port de Lonvilliers, one of the classiest marinas on the island. There are luxurious shops and exquisite restaurants, as well as a cluster of French resorts. The only way to get onto the beach is through the hotels and, while everyone knows all beaches are public, the guard at the front gate may pretend to be clueless. Just tell him you’re going to one of the restaurants for lunch, then walk right through the lobby and out to the vast gardens that border the sand. Of course, you’ll find every amenity, and if you wish to use them, speak to someone at the activities desk or at the pool bar about paying a day-use fee. If you actually do have lunch, you’ll probably be allowed to use the pool, beach chairs and other goodies. The jig-jag mountain roads between Anse Marcel and Cul de Sac, on the east coast north of Orient Bay, and Grand Case, on the west coast, are a thrill and offer panoramic views.
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Grand Case Beach
Almost as much fun as Orient Bay, but not nearly as nice, this town beach is lined with some of the island’s best gourmet restaurants. On weekends and holidays, the residents have boat races, local bands play near the pier, and snack shacks (lo-los) serve up tasty West Indies dishes and grilled meats. The sand is narrow and slopes toward the water, so setting up a level lounge chair is a challenge. The water is calm and snorkeling is good, especially around Creole Rock, which is off the north end of the cove and accessible by boat. Several scuba outfitters take novice divers and snorkelers there, and you may be able to catch a ride with a local fisherman if you ask around. The activities desk at Grand Case Beach Club (% 59087-51-87) organizes boat trips to Creole Rock several times a week, and they will allow non-guests to sign up if there’s space (the two-hour Grand Case Beach Club trip costs $30 and includes the use of snorkel and diving equipment). Petite Plage, next to the main beach at Grand Case Beach Club, is
At other times. Friar’s Bay Beach If you happen to visit St. a secluded stretch of white sand strewn with black rocks and shaded by palms. Martin during a full moon. St. Friar’s menu is French. On weekdays. is a former cruise-ship chef and long-time art lover. There’s no road to the beach. Bring your is on the French side. so only those in the know can find it.Best Beaches n 115 small and rocky. with some shade. but quiet. Park on the road across from the Beach Club and follow the path down to the beach. salads. at the other end of the short beach. usually features a local band on Sunday afternoons. Find the beach down a rough and winding road. This airport accepts only small aircraft. Families and young locals show up on weekends to play volleyball and listen to boom-box music. % 590-87-53-03. sandwiches. Check out the laid out around the bar’s exterior. don’t miss the party at Kali’s Beach Bar (% 590-49-06-81) on Friar’s Beach. The airport code is SFG. Laurent. and Friar’s Bay Beach Club (% 590-49-16-87). Friar’s Bay Beach . The cook. Kali’s serves burgers. Martin An easy 10-minute walk to the north from Friar’s Beach will bring you to Happy Beach. and ice cold drinks at inexpensive prices. you may have the whole place to yourself. the small protected stretch of sand is fairly quiet and uncrowded. off the main highway between Marigot and Grand Case.
Plage Aéroport Baie Rouge .
Unfortunately. but the beach is still spectacular. Martin . tour buses stop here. surfers congregate at the north end to ride the waves near Falaises des Oiseaux (Bird Cliffs). The best section is near La Samana. When the road forks. The guard will look you over and wave you through.Red Bay (Baie Rouge) has lost some sand. this is an excellent spot for acquiring an all-over tan. especially when cruise ships are docked in town. Chairs and watersports equipment are for hotel guests only. follow the main road to the sign and guardhouse between Baie Rouge and Baie Longue. There are no watersports or other facilities. just across the French-Dutch border from Cupecoy Beach. go left for about a mile to a high wall. If you don’t want to walk from Long Bay. giving it full afternoon sun. Long Bay (Baie Longue) is the longest stretch of beach on the island. When conditions are right. and you’ll probably have a vast span of sand all to yourself. south of Marigot. You can rent chairs and umbrellas ($5 each) and purchase snacks and St.Best Beaches n 117 Long Bay. Red Bay This trio of lovely beaches lines the north and west coasts of Terres Basses. Author’s tip: Plum Bay is the island’s best beach for viewing the sunset in private. and runs continuously to Pointe du Canonnier at the far western tip of the low lands. Since the beach is wild and undeveloped. Plum Bay (Baie aux Prunes) has lovely dunes and soft sand that sprawls across the western edge of Terres Basses. so there’s often a crowd. . Your first left will lead down a winding road to the beach. making your ocean entrance difficult. where you turn right onto an intersecting road. Huge rocks that appear to be placed as decoration and abundant greenery add to the beauty. Plum Bay. Other parts have rocks between the beach and water. with only a few houses beyond the dunes. It starts below the cliffs supporting luxurious La Samanna Resort (% 590-8764-00). You can walk there from Long Bay by rounding the point that juts out into the sea separating the two beaches.
Inside information: A lovely patch of soft sand is hidden behind a boulder on the east end of Red Bay. Simpson Bay Beach Crescent-shaped Simpson Bay extends east from the airport to Pelican Key. be sure to lock up and leave nothing visible inside your car. On a recent visit. The western end. . You may enjoy the privacy and find it a great place to jog or stroll. but there are no real restaurants or beach bars. has few visitors. known as David’s Grotto.118 n Adventures on Water drinks from the mobile vendors or lo-los that set up each day. before anyone else arrives. called Simpson Bay Beach. The water is calm and clear in most Baie Rouge sea grape areas – ideal for snorkeling and swimming. we noticed a security guard patrolling the parking lot. and the nearby town has lots of restaurants. Try to visit early in the day. Get there on a signed road about a mile from Baie aux Prunes. Snorkel through the arch. but you can get refreshments from the pool-side bar at Mary’s Boon Beach Plantation (% 599-545-7000). to find it. There are no watersports or resorts. probably due to its location near busy Airport Road. Still.
offering equipment rentals. and you can use the free lounge chairs and umbrellas. on the northeast coast. and you can follow the dirt horse path down to the beach. The water is calm and perfect for snorkeling. you can get a water taxi to Ilet Pinel. Martin Ilet Pinel If you want to find a rarely visited patch of sand for a solitary stroll or uninterrupted romance. Pelican Beach has a timeshare resort (Pelican Resort. It’s a favorite with horseback riders and hikers. The sand is protected by rock jetties at both ends. but on most days no one’s around. Seaside Solitude St. and sailing excursions. at the foot of Cay Hill between Little Bay and Cole Bay. for about $5 per person one-way. and nearby Orient Bay. From Cul de Sac. Since it’s . Offshore islands are another option. A small road off the main highway leads to Cay Bay.Best Beaches n 119 Pelican Keys/Pelican Beach Located at the far eastern end of Simpson Bay. scuba diving. % 599-544-2503) and a large watersports outfitter (Aqua Mania. try Cay Bay. % 599-5442640).
the underwater world is teeming with fish and other sea animals. Martin and has gentle rolling waves. check with the dive shops about scheduled trips. which faces St. % 590-87-4689. was inhabited off and on over the years. you’ll probably have company. and snorkel equipment. at Orient Bay. Tintamarre. you’ll find a couple of Robinson Crusoe-type snack shacks and a watersports hut along the white sand beach. If you want to go over for the day. In the early 1900s. Don’t plan to go into the water. will take you to Ilet Pinel for $15 and to Green Cay for $10 per person round-trip. even if you don’t scuba. Martin residents. Back on the south shore. You can also take a water taxi from Cul de Sac. Day charters to the island run about $80-$90 per person. also called Flat Island by St. but you can get away by walking over the hill to the north shore. Unlike the south shore. the north shore is battered by crashing surf. Tintamarre Tintamarre is a bit farther away and accessible by larger boats. a few people lived there to protest taxation. drinks. but do stroll along the pebbly coast and explore the fascinating rock formations. Kontiki Watersports.120 n Best Beaches fairly easy to get there. As part of the marine reserve. Tintamarre is 200 acres of deserted desert ringed by white sand beaches. including lunch. Between 1946 and . They may allow you to go along to snorkel.
This protection extends to the smaller islands of Tintamarre. which have been overseeing nature protection on the island since the early 1990s. Windsurfing & Kiteboarding You’ll see people surfing off many of the island’s beaches. St. mangroves. with the strongest winds blowing from late November through March.Boardsurfing. and Pinel. Martin’s beaches. Green Cay. as well as the reefs surrounding Creole rock. Martin n Boardsurfing. Boating and watersport activities are restricted in some areas. as well as maintaining the fragile coral reefs that act as ocean buffers for St. This two-mile stretch of white sand offers various conditions both inside and outside the protected bay. The environmental agencies. but the best spot for both beginners and experienced wave riders is Orient Bay Beach.500-foot airstrip. . so check posted regulations at marinas and beach entrances. Dependable east and southeast trade winds create a good-toexcellent sailing environment year-round. but you can still find evidence of their existence in tumble-down rock walls and a clearing where the airstrip used to be along White Bay Beach. Hurricanes have destroyed the buildings. and cliffs) that shelter marine animals and birds. Windsurfing & Kiteboarding n 121 1950. an airline known as Compagnie Aerienne Antillaise (CCA) flew light planes from Tinatamarre’s 1. Natural Reserves The entire coastline and everything under the water around Tintamarre is protected by the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin and the Marine Park of Sint Maarten. and other organizations such as the Sea Turtle Watch Group are interested in preserving the coastal and inland ecosystems (marshes.
outside the bay. Marigot % 590-87-93-24. and forfun events are scheduled in volleyball and skateboarding. Baie de l’Embouchure % 590-87-37-25. with international windsurfers competing in five divisions. Club Nathalie Simon/Wind Adventure Orient Bay Resort % 590-29-41-57. You’ll need to prove that you know how to handle the equipment before you take it out. fax 590-87-37-29 . Kiteboarders and Hobie Cat riders also compete.Tropical Wave/Chez Pat Le Galion Beach. the conditions turn somewhat choppy and. which guarantees smooth water on most days. fax 590-29-58-08. Kite surfing For information on the Challenge.122 n Boardsurfing. and about $60 per day to rent a windsurf board. including equipment. Windsurfing & Kiteboarding Orient’s southern end is protected by a shallow reef and two nearby islands. contact one of the outfitters below.com Surf’ace 14 Rue du Général de Gaulle. Package prices on lessons and rentals are substantially less per hour.wind-adventures. www. The annual SXM Challenge is a growing event held at Orient Bay each Spring. wind. Kiteboarding lessons cost about $70 for a two-hour private lesson. fax 590-87-93-24 . or equipment rental. Surf boards and boards with kites rent for about $25 per hour.or kite-surfing instruction. including equipment. A bit to the north. Expect to pay about $50 for a one-hour private windsurfing lesson. Pinel and Green Cay. Atlantic swells provide big thrills.
fax 590-87-08-37 The calm water of Simpson Bay Lagoon is ideal for kayaking. the island hosts the Heineken Regatta (www. Each March.Sailing n 123 Windy Reef/SXM Water Boys Surf Club Le Galion Beach. a tiny island in the lagoon. Martin takes sailing seriously. Baie de l’Embouchure % 590-52-58-18. n Sailing St. from small catamarans to 50-foot vessels. Paddle out to Great Key. for a picnic. Spectators follow . You can rent equipment or join a guided tour by contacting Tri-Sports (% 599545-4384) at 14 Airport Road in Simpson Bay. The three-day extravaganza draws more than 200 boats from over two dozen countries to races in 20 categories. one of the largest and most exciting sailboat races in the Caribbean.com). Martin St. or travel all the way across the water to Marigot or the resort beaches on Baie Nettlé.heinekenregatta.
as well as neophyte sailors. Oyster Pond % 800-327-2276 (US). and a spectacular around-the-island race on the final day. fax 599-542-5442. If you want to participate or spectate from the water. fax 590-8732-54. % 599-0544-2079. and aren’t bringing your own vessel. Martin).com. Martin). smaller racing events draw boat owners and renters. sheltered bays. % 599-542-2366. Marigot to Philipsburg on the second day. be sure to reserve a boat early.com Sunsail Captain Oliver’s. and short-sail neighboring isles. For more information. good winds. or visit the website at www. contact the Regatta Office at Sint Maarten Yacht Club in Philipsburg. moderate seas. Throughout the year.bobbysmarina. 250-758-5965 (Canada). now attracts America’s Cup competitors.com. Prices vary widely depending on the type of boat and length of charter.moorings. Multi-day charters are in high demand throughout the year because of St. Charters The following companies arrange both crewed and bareboat multi-day charters. which began in 1980 with 12 entries. 590-87-32-55 (St. www.124 n Sailing the event as it progresses from Philipsburg to Marigot on the first day. 590-87-83-41 (St. fax 590-87-31-58 . Martin’s excellent marinas. The Moorings Captain Oliver’s. www. Parties follow each day’s competition. Get more information about all of the island’s regattas by contacting the Sint Maarten Yacht Club on the Dutch side (see information above) or Dockside Management at Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg. fax 599-544-2091. The Heineken Regatta. Oyster Pond % 800-521-1126 (US). heinekenregatta.
Martin or to another nearby island.com. You may be able to buy reduced-price tickets through the online seller Saint Martin Activities. fax 599-543-6382 Day-Sails The highlight of your trip may well be a day-sail around St. Simpson Bay. Three-hour snorkeling trips run about $35 per person. with fabulous creature comforts. www.com. rates vary depending on the season. % 599543-0068.Sailing n 125 SeaLine Power Boats Bobby’s Marina. If they Captain Morgan don’t offer what you want. fullday cruises are in the $75-$90 per person range. Philipsburg. and food service. and swim. while longer sails include lunch or dinner. contact the activity desk at your resort or Aqua Mania Adventures at Pelican Marina. However. Most halfday cruise prices include snorkeling equipment and drinks. Popular boats include: Golden Eagle. time on a private beach. and. destination. snorkel.saintmartin-activities. % 599-544-2640 or 599-544-2631. type of boat. St. Martin . www. % 599-554-8715 or 599-580-2554. www. Bobby’s Marina. planned activities. where you may relax. perhaps. It sails to Tintamarre.com. Philipsburg % 599-543-6262. This 76-foot customdesigned catamaran is a real beauty. Open bar and snacks are included in the price.sailingsxm.stmaarten-activities. and a sunset dinner sail will cost about $66 per person.
where you anchor offshore for swimming. which features an open deck for sunning. Simpson Bay. White Octopus. snorkel gear and floats. Hot Tomatoes Pier.whiteoctopus. you’ll sail down the leeward shore to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. barbecue lunch.com. Sign on for a trip around the island’s coast. www. Dock Maarten/Great Bay Marina. Simpson Bay. Both are possible on this comfortable 63-foot catamaran. . Look for this 70-foot motor-driven catamaran at the pier beside Hot Tomatoes Restaurant. snorkeling and sunning.552-0875. com. A good choice for cruise-ship passengers. beer. Port de Plaisance. snacks. % 599-5442640 or 599-544-2631. an uninhabited island with perfect beaches. because this windjammer leaves from a location near the main cruise ship dock. Trips include open bar.captainmorgan-daycharters. White Octopus Lambada. Once on board. % 599-557-9154. Simpson Bay. % 599. rum punch and soft drinks are included. www.126 n Day-Sails Captain Morgan. lunch.com. then enjoy dinner at the restaurant. Lord Sheffield. snacks.lordsheffield. Philipsburg. Captain Serge is in charge of this 65-foot schooner that will take you on a day sail along both the Dutch and French coasts. www. Spend the day on Prickly Pear. Or sail to Anguilla while relaxing with a drink and enjoying a buffet lunch. Equipment. Pelican Marina. % 599-526-2467.
www. www. You’ll be required to do your share of jibbing and tacking. St. Allow half a day for this adventure. The sleek. Sign on for duty at Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg. www. sometimes stopping at Prickly Pear or Tintamarre. Martin . Martin’s shores.. Take the sunset cruise. to sunset sails. .. Scoobidoo.com. Little Bay.. This three masted 54-foot clipper offers a variety of excursions. if you think you’re up to it. too. The cost is $70 per person. is among the retired “greyhounds of the sea” that challenge each other daily in a mini-race off St.Sailing n 127 Celine. You may have seen this spiffy 75foot -catamaran on the Travel Channel.. Martin and Anguilla. % 590-5202-53. Simpson Bay Lagoon. Neil Roebert built this 40-foot catamaran in South Africa and sailed it to St. Stars & Strips. single-mast boats are custom-designed to cut through the water like a wind-powered racehorse.Take the 12-Metre Challenge. you’ll have a blast as a working member of the crew on one of the five 12meter yachts that have competed in the America’s Cup. Anse Marcel and Grand Case.Random Wind. aluminum. which features excellent appetizers and an open bar. Dennis Conner’s USA winner. hang on for the ride of your life. the mother of all yacht races. from halfday snorkeling cruises. % 599542-0045.com.com. Sign up for a sunset or day cruises on this spacious handcrafted beauty.randomwind. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced sailor. % 599-5453961.sailstmaarten.scoobidoo. . . which makes the thrills all the more exhilarating. to private charters for groups of up to 18 people. % 599-557-5742 or 599544-5148. It cruises the waters between French St. Turtle Pier. It begins with a pre-race briefing and ends with both winners and losers enjoying America’s Cup – filled with Caribbean rum punch. If you sign on as a member of the crew. Martin in 1996.
for one-day or long-term cruising. Any Way Marine Marina Port la Royale. and boats rent for around $80 per hour without a skipper. . Bart or Anguilla.revemarine. Simpson Bay % 599-544-2640 This outfitter offers motorboat excursions to nearby islands for snorkeling and sunning on the beach. with or without a skipper. Thriller % 599-581-2114. www. Marigot % 590-87-91-74.128 n Motorboat Trips n Motorboat Trips & Rentals Sailboats are great.thrillerstmaarten. Great fun! Reve Marine Marina Royale. off Anguilla. Scorpion Offshore Adventures Marigot % 590-65-16-16 or 590-87-78-54 Take a cigarette boat for a spin along the coast or to one of the nearby isles. but sometimes you just want a little motor power. Simpson Bay % 599-544-3233 Rent an 18-foot Glaston with ski-tow options and a shade canopy for trips to neighboring islands or just cruising the coast. www. fax 590-29-34-76.com Highspeed powerboat trip to Sandy Island. for snorkeling and lounging on the white-sand beach. you’ll get a break on the hourly rates.com Crewed and on-your-own power boat rentals are available from this outfitter. Organized group trips are priced about the same as sailboat cruises.anywaymarine. from a small motorboat to a huge catamaran. If you rent for several hours or a full day.com Rent all kinds of boats at this outfitter. Aqua World Royal Village. Marigot % 590-87-91-41. Aqua Mania Adventures Pelican Marina. You can join a scheduled trip or rent your own boat. Sign on with one of the licensed captains for an insider’s tour of St. $90 with. www.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children age two-12. Only the observation level is submerged. % 866-546-7820. You can stroll along the sand and view a colorful display of Jet Skis. 599-542-4078.Water Toys n 129 Turtle Tours % 599-526-4662. of course.turtletours-sxm. the top of the ship remains above water at all times.com. For information and reservations. St. where a scuba diver explains everything you see five feet below sea level through your own viewing window. Martin n Water Toys Watersports operators are as abundant as beach bars on Orient Bay. Outfitters are less concentrated on other beaches around the island. and banana boats.atlantisadventures. Seaworld Explorer XI This 49-foot semi-submarine allows you to stay comfortable and dry while you observe underwater reefs and marine life through a large window. $45 per 15-minute . www. Expect to pay about $45 per half-hour for a Jet Ski. the New England natives who will show you the best of the Dutch and French sides of Simpson Bay Lagoon – from a Boston Whaler. Hobie Cats. www. The trip leaves from Grand Case and travels along the coast to Creole Rock.com Cruise on your own or team up with Susan or Diane. call Atlantis Adventures.
Simpson Bay. Simpson Bay. % 590-29-41-57. www. Mercure Hotel.stmaarten-activities. Le Galion Beach. www. and Oyster Pond Greathouse Marina. % 599-544-2557 Phat Wake Zone.com Westport Watersports. % 590-27-07-48 Kakao Watersports. www. % 590-87-33-85.130 n Water Toys parasail ride. % 0690-641-828 (cell). % 590-87-99-62 Académie de la Glisse. You drive your own two-passenger inflatable motorized watercraft and zip along behind a . % 590-27-49-94 Club Orient Watersports.wind-adventures. www. % 599-554-2502. % 590-87-46-89 Bikini Watersport.academie-de-la-glisse.com Tropical Wave.com Rhino Rider Safari This is the most fun you can have on the water. Baie Nettlé. % 599-544-2640. Portofino Marina. www. Hotel Le Flamboyant. and about $50 per hour to rent a small Hobie Cat. bluebubblessxm. Orient Bay Beach Kontiki Watersports. Baie Nettlé.cluborient. Kim She Beach. Baie de l’Embouchure. Pelican Beach. com Wind Adventures. com Elsewhere on the Island Aqua Mania Adventures. Instruction and guided excursions are available and adapted to your skill level. % 590-87-37-25 Blue Bubbles. Simpson Bay.
depending on the boat and number of people in your party. % 599-545-2177 (phone/fax) or 599-522-7120 (cell).atlantisadventures. even if you don’t catch a thing. www. and buddies who ride double pay $98. Rudy’s Deep-Sea Fishing. Private charters cost from $350-$600 for a half-day and $650$1. The following fishing operators can be contacted by phone. The catch belongs to the captain.000 for a full day. n Deep-Sea Fishing Something’s always bitin’ in St. 599-5424078. Martin . Single riders pay $85 per person.com. and you can choose either a morning or afternoon safari. % 599-545-3230 Virginia Gentleman. You can also make advance reservations through your travel agent or hotel. so you’ll have fun on the high seas. wahoo. and usually some type of lunch on an all-day trip. or tuna. Join a scheduled group for about $250 per person per day. There. you snorkel and swim. % 599-545-3230 or 599-547-1468 St. Set out to sea and you’re sure to return with a big sailfish. www. Captain George Shetter. and give you enough to cook for dinner. The whole adventure takes about 2½ hours. Book early for this popular outing by calling Atlantis Adventures.com Blue Water Sport Fishing. Prices include all your gear and drinks. You can check out the boat. Simpson Bay. Boat captains design the trip to fit your skills and experience. % 866-546-7820.Deep-Sea Fishing n 131 wild-and-crazy but absolutely dependable guide. Simpson Bay. rudysdeepseafishing. and possibly meet the captain before you sign on for a trip. filet. Captain Rudy Sierens. Find a deep-sea fishing outfitter by strolling along the docks at any of the marinas. marlin. Martin. Simpson Bay. but most will clean. who leads you across the rolling surf from Simpson Bay to Creole Rock. then head for a rest break at a nearby beach before returning along the coast to base camp.
% 599-544-2640 Samaco. has elkhorn corals that are visited by groups of sergeant majors and yellowtail snappers. % 590-27-40-95 Luxe Caraïbes. % 590-87-9676 Adventures Underwater B oth the French and Dutch sides of St. Baie Orientale. % 590-87-33-27 Big Sailfish Too. Lee owns Lee’s Roadside Grill and he will cook your catch for you at the restaurant after the fishing trip. Count on lovely reefs with drop-offs. Airport Road. on which the ship’s remains rest. Simpson Bay. Marina Port la Royale. Marigot. . and caves. Grand Case. The most famous of more than 40 official dive sites is the wreck of the English ship HMS Proselyte. Captain Dougie. % 590-27-40-90 La Compagnie des Vagues. Captain Jan. wwwleesfish.132 n Adventures Underwater Lee’s Deep-Sea Fishing. % 599-544-4233. Divers can explore the remains of the 133-foot frigate and its coral-encrusted cannons and anchors.com. Pelican Beach. are plentiful and most are at depths of 40 to 60 feet. Martin have a wide variety of dive and scuba sites. Anse Marcel. swimthroughs. Anse Marcel. Sunken wrecks. Captain Bernard. Simpson Bay. Proselyte Reef. both accidental and deliberate. which struck the reef and went down in Philipsburg’s Great Bay in 1801. % 599-557-4778 Taylor Made Charters. % 590-2951-93 Major Fishing. Some of the favorite sites are rock formations or dead coral reefs covered with new-growth sponges and corals. % 599-552-7539 Kratuna. mostly off the west and south coasts. Freedom Deep-Sea Fishing.
) St. is divided into a north and south area. most dive boats will allow snorkelers to go along if there’s room. the best spots are off Little Bay Beach. southeast of Pointe Blanche Bay. St. and Maho Bay Beach. great mound. and the reef has beautiful elkhorn forests at depths of 20 . Eight species of coral have been identified under the waters surrounding St. lettuce. elkhorn. and elliptical star. but the site can be reached only when the ocean is calm. Hens and Chickens (also called Hens and Chicks).Popular Dive Sites n 133 The freighter Teigland was sunk deliberately on nearby Cable Reef in 1993. including schools of angelfish and an occasional eagle ray. Eustatius. Rocks protrude above the waterline. brain. fire. Visibility is usually good. Martin n Popular Dive Sites Pelican Reef and Molly Beday Island are located in close proximity off the southeast coast around Oyster Pond. and various sea plants. and vegetation growing on its hull has begun to attract a variety of fish. Molly juts about 100 feet above the surface of the water. Martin: mustard hill. St. and shrimp and crabs dart among the coral. The reef is alive with coral. Also. and many go to locations off Saba. If you aren’t certified. check into a Discover Scuba introductory course Elkhorn coral that includes a shallow dive to about 30 feet. Nurse sharks and turtles also visit the area. Lobsters live in crevices of the rocks. and both have good coral formations. (If you want to snorkel on your own. Small caves within the reef formation harbor lobsters and eels. Dawn Beach. Barts. Most dive operators schedule trips to a basic list of 10 to 12 sites. sponges. box fire. and Anguilla.
including snorkeling gear. is ideal for novice divers and all snorkelers. This is a great place for underwater snapshots and night dives. but there are lots of fish and an occasional turtle. perfect for beginners. It’s lying on its side on the sandy bottom of Cupecoy Bay at a depth of 110 feet.134 n Adventures Underwater Creole Rock feet. The reef descends to 70 feet. Fuh Sheng is a wrecked 120-foot fishing vessel from Taiwan. Fish have become accustomed to people and surround divers who descend to the 40-foot boat that’s submerged in about 25 feet of water. and you can catch a boat ride from Grand Case Beach Club (% 590-87-51-87) for about $25. Several dive shop operators bring groups to the rock. There’s a sandy bottom and plenty to see at shallow depths. and uncontrolled beginner kicking. thanks to Hurricane Luis. Snorkelers can enter the water off Little Bay Beach and view colorful tropical fish on the reef in 12 to 25 feet of water. in Grand Case Bay. creating a wall that ends at the sandy bottom. This is a favorite with experienced divers. Creole Rock. Tug Boat Anny stands upright on the sandy bottom of Simpson Bay. heavy boat traffic. . French Reef. is close to shore and has large numbers of fish at shallow depths. The reef isn’t in great shape. off the far south coast near Little Bay.
St. There’s no danger that this small amount of food. You’ll also learn about the creatures and their lifestyle. will stop the sharks from hunting for meals. The people who’ve developed this site are aware of all the potential problems. a specially developed playground populated by about 20 reef and milk sharks. and they won’t do anything to harm either sharks or humans. consider going along with the folks at Dive Safaris to their shark park. or one pound per shark – not even a good-sized snack for an animal that devours the equivalent of 10% of its body weight per week.Popular Dive Sites n 135 Shark Park For something a bit different. They limit feeding to around 20 pounds of food per week. By the time you descend among them. Martin . you should feel comfortable as well as awed. This isn’t all about thrills. with the hopes that you will appreciate their good qualities and spread the word that they’re not really such scary bad guys. Speak with Whitney Keogh at Dive Safaris for all the details. % 599-545-3213. offered piece-by-piece from the end of a long stick.
In addition to the retail store and dive facility at Anse Marcel. and multiple-dive packages average less per dive.thescubashop. Philipsburg. Contact them on Simpson Bay Beach. Bobby’s Marina. It’s run by Dominique and LeRoy French. and about $80 for an introductory resort-course dive.com or www. www. fax 599-542 8983. Dive Safaris and The Scuba Shop have three locations with two well-stocked retail stores. multilevel certification. check out their package deals with French.and Dutchside hotels. A free shuttle service will pick you up at your hotel if you make arrangements when you make your reservations. who take small groups of 10 or fewer out on their 26-foot Robalo dive boat. % 590-87-48-01. La Palapa Marina. Scuba Fun Caraïbes is located at the Port Lonvilliers Marina in Anse Marcel. Captain Olivers Marina.com. The Scuba Shop.136 n Adventures Underwater Dive Operators The following dive shops offer first-class instruction. fax 599-545 3209. In addition to shark dives. and equipment rental. near the cruise-ship terminal. Contact the shop nearest your hotel or mooring: Dive Safaris. diveguide. guided dive trips. powered by twin 150 hp engines to guarantee a smooth and speedy ride to the sites. fax 590-87-48-01. www. $70-$90 for a two-tank dive.net. You’ll pay $45-$65 for a one-tank dive. Dive Safaris. Simpson Bay. % 599-545 3213.stmaartendiving. the multilingual staff offers dive departures from Great Bay Marina. Oyster Pond. % 599-5445252. % 599-542 9001. Ocean Explorers is the oldest dive shop on the island. they specialize in equipment rentals. provide information on shore dives. and they are certified to guide handicapped divers. Prices may vary with the season. Most operators schedule two boat trips daily and arrange instruction courses to suit student needs. If diving will be a big part of your vacation. Three spe- .
O2 Limits. as long as there’s room on the boat.scubafun. % 599-544-2640. makes three 1½-hour dives per day. % 590-8789-73. Martin .blueocean. www.com. Snorkelers are welcome. fax 590-87-36-52. and training at all levels.stmaarten-activities. including Nitrox and Rebreather.Popular Dive Sites n 137 cially outfitted boats take divers to a variety of sites – a 36-foot mono hull with a 300 hp inboard diesel motor that accommodates 20. fax 599-544-2476. Their high- St. The multi-lingual instructors and guides take small groups to all the best sites in customized 28.catamarans. offers introductory classes. and a 28-foot inflatable with a 250 hp outboard engine that is also suitable for up to 20 divers and a Newton 42 Dive Special that is used for day-trips to nearby islands. Blue Ocean Watersports and Dive Center plans dives around the skills of each small group that it takes on its customized 30-foot boat. at La Playa Restaurant on Orient Bay Beach. % 590-50-04-00 or 590-50-1632. They also have propulsion vehicles (underwater scooters). and divers who haven’t been down in more than a year are encouraged to take the adaptation dive. at Grand Case Beach Club and Orient Bay.ws. so give them a call. Divers enjoy an open bar on the ride back home. Martin. www.com. Ask about night dives and multiple-dive packages when you call the shop on Sandy Ground Road in Baie Nettlé. % 590-87-36-13. Aqua Mania Adventures is the main watersports company on Dutch St. You can book almost every water-related activity through them.and 35-foot boats. powered by a 250 hp motor. Neptune Dive Center. www. and can rent an underwater camera to record the fun. including scuba. fax 590-87-26-36. which goes a bit slower and offers additional assistance. They are at Pelican Marina on Simpson Bay. trips for certified divers. The French staff is multilingual.
allowing a full 50 minutes underwater. including champagne ($70). Cecile. Ask at the activities center or front desk for information. and a sunset beach ride ($50). next to the Butterfly Farm across from the salt pond at Orient Bay.baysideridingclub. Adventures on Land n Horseback Riding Bayside Riding Club Le Galion.com Choose from a one-hour ride along the beach ($45) or a twohour ride and horseback swim ($60). The center is a member of the St. Contact them about their small-group classes and dive trips. Baie de l’Embouchure % 590-87-36-64 or 599-557-6822. and JeanMichel) holds a variety of certifications. Indian Ocean. Call the club. fax 590-87-20-63. www. Martin Ecotourism Association and the friendly. for reservations and information about riding lessons and departure times. bilingual dive team (Philippe. or call one of the dive operators listed above. www. Most resorts have on-site dive facilities or affiliations with a nearby dive shop. Other choices include a romantic ride for two. Many will pick you up at your hotel. has outstanding instructors who have plenty of around-the-world diving experiences recorded in their log books. % 590-87-20-62. so everyone gets plenty of individual attention with no waiting-around time.com. including adventures in the Red Sea. . Groups are small. Look for them on the beach between Bikini Beach Restaurant and Waikiki Restaurant or % 590-87-98-53.neptune-dive.138 n Adventures on Land powered 22-foot boat allows them to get to great sites in 10 to 20 minutes. up to six people. on Grand Case Beach. and Thailand. Octoplus Dive Center.
All rides end with a romp through the ocean astride your horse. If you have a specific spot you’d like to explore. Ocean Ranch Oyster Pond % 590-690-61-08-97 (cell) Ride along the popular stretch of beach at Oyster Pond with experienced guides who guarantee a good time. beach crowds. and city shoppers.and twohour treks ($40 and $60) through one of the last sparsely developed areas of the southern Dutch side. Hiking trails crisscross the island and lead to mountain-top vistas and coastal seclusion. the island’s highest point. Horses are trained for beginner and seasoned riders. Martin n Hiking Exploring St. just ask and a customized route will be mapped out for you. Martin’s countryside on foot is a terrific way to escape the traffic jams. You can stroll the lush lower levels of the 150-acre farm’s forest. or take the 2½-hour uphill trek to the peak. and kids can opt for a slow-paced pony ride. A guide leads a narrative Eco-Challenge hike several mornings each week for $45 per person. and less extreme hikes are avilable as well. One of the most popular hikes is through Loterie Farm to the summit of Pic Paradis (Paradise Peak). St. Wear your swimsuit.Hiking n 139 Lucky Stables Cay Bay % 599-544-5255 The friendly guides at Lucky Stables lead one. Look for signs to the farm off the main highway between . The view from the top is worth every sweaty minute.
Barts.com. going toward Colombier. you may be able to see St.140 n Adventures on Land Marigot and Grand Case. just past a road sign pointing the way to St. loteriefarm. www. % 590-87-86-16 or 599-57-28-55. Call for a current schedule. and . When you get to the radio tower at the top. but it’s really suitable only for four-wheel-drive vehicles. On a clear day. % 590-87-97-87) maintains a network of trails through the island’s countryside and leads organized hikes on weekends. then continue on foot. to the south. Drive as far up the road as you wish (or as far as your car can manage). A little trail to the left of the fence enclosing the tower (as you face it from the road) will take you to a viewing point of the east coast and Philipsburg. Local hikers turn out for the weekly excursions. As you climb. You can also hike up Pic Paradis along the rutted trail that pretends to be a dirt access road. A group called Action Nature (Marigot. the vegetation becomes more lush. Louis. Find it off the main road out of Marigot. since more rain falls at the higher elevation. which leads east through the village of Rambaud. you’ll have unbeatable views of the west coast.
and know about road races and other events scheduled on the island. pick up maps.Mountain & Off-Road Biking n 141 you’re welcome to go along. on Simpson Bay. % 599548-3322. fax 590-87-25-54 . St. They can put you on the right track for an independent hike or sign you up for a guided excursion geared toward your experience and endurance level. Marigot % 590-87-05-11. or arrange to have your bike delivered to your hotel or trail site. fax 599-545-4385 Frog Legs Bike Shop. Saturday 10 am % 599-545-4384. or Dutch Hikers. You can rent a bike. n Mountain & Off-Road Biking Don’t bike along St. % 590-87-97-87. 183 Rue de Hollande. However. Rates are about $18 per day or $90 per week to rent a 21-speed front-suspension mountain bike with a helmet. and get route information from Tri-Sport in Simpson Bay or Frog Legs Bike Shop in Marigot. off-road biking is terrific. Simpson Bay Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm. but you may prefer a private hike with a member of AGRP (Association des Guides Randonneurs). also leads ecoadventure hikes. Martin’s roadways. You may want to just drop by their store at 14 Airport Road to check out what’s going in. Tri-Sports (% 599-545-4384). They also carry any type of sporting equipment you may need. lock. and water bottle. whether you’re a sports spectator or participant. 14 Airport Road. The streets are narrow and there’s too much traffic. Martin Bike Rental Tri-Sport. The staff can take you on guided tours along the popular singletrack mountain trails that run from the Dutch to the French side of the island. Guided mountain bike tours are in the $40-per-person range.
equipment rental. % 599-5443033 Summit Resort. you can contact the local tennis clubs about the possibility of renting a court or setting up a game with club members. Check with your travel agent or your resort for information about the availability of courts. % 590-8738-38 Le Flamboyant Resort. Baie Nettlé. % 599-545-4000 Great Bay Beach Hotel. Anse Marcel. % 599-544-2503 Caravanserai Beach Resort. Sandy Ground. % 590-87-36-36 Tennis Club Municipal. Baie Orientale. For lessons. Maho Bay. you can usually arrange to play for a fee at another resort nearby. % 599-542-2446 Maho Beach Resort. % 599-545-2150 . call tennis pro Michael Sprott. % 590-87-51-87 Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. % 599-545-2115 Princess Port de Plaisance Resort. Beacon Hill. Little Bay. or games with the staff pro. % 599-542-2333 Pelican Resort. and the possibilities for organized tournaments. villas. In addition. lessons. % 590-87-98-47 Resorts with Tennis Courts Hôtel Privilège Resort and Spa. If your resort doesn’t have courts or the courts aren’t lighted for night play. Great Bay. % 599-542-6281. Lowlands. % 590-87-60-87 Grand Case Beach Club.142 n Adventures on Land n Tennis Many resorts. and playing conditions are good except when the wind kicks up. Cole Bay. Simpson Bay. and hotels on both sides of the island have tennis courts. Tennis Clubs Tennis Club Caraïbes. He offers group clinics and private sessions at various locations. condition of the facilities. Anse Marcel. % 590-27-40-03 Tennis Club Esmeralda. Grand Case.
stmaartengolf. Look for the 18-hole course on the main road across from Three Palms Plaza in Simpson Bay. and the last tee-time is 1:30 pm. St.sputtersminiaturegolf. The resort has still not reopened. a Winair plane. you can find terrific buys . Martin’s most popular landmarks. and the government has been disputing with various developers for years about the future of the land. and the monument that marks the French-Dutch border. was attached to the Mullet Bay Resort. Maarten Golf Association website. www. Fees are $108 per person for 18 holes and $62 per person for nine holes. Martin Shopping A long with Charlotte Amalie on St.com. There’s even a clubhouse with a large deck. % 599-545-2850. especially of the back nine and the lagoon water holes. St. The course opens daily at 7 am. While some of the claims are overblown.Golf n 143 n Golf Unfortunately. the heavily damaged golf course is still playable. www. Philipsburg is well known as a duty-free bargain paradise for shoppers. However. Its only golf course. but the course probably will not be well cared for until the resort issue is settled and new owners come on board. Thomas. including cart rental. For a list of upcoming events. and much of its vegetation has recovered. % 599-557-1437. Owners Ric and Kathy Hetzel (former owners of the popular Ric’s Place Restaurant) designed the greens around replicas of some of St. Martin is not a golfing destination. Club rentals run $26. where players and spectators can order drinks and snacks. Golfers will still appreciate the challenge. The location is naturally beautiful. such as the Court House in Philipsburg. Phone in advance for a tee time. check the St. which was a good one. and that was destroyed by Hurricane Luis in 1995. Sputters Mini Golf is a recent addition to the island and a fun way to spend a few hours. Play a full 18 holes for $5 from 3 pm to 10 pm daily.com.
9 am-6 pm. for additional information). with a mid-day break for déjeuner. 8:30 am-12:30 pm and 2-7 pm. Some proprietors close for several weeks during late summer. especially on days when no ship is in port. You’re likely to save 30% on perfumes. Martin as an informed shopper. the final cost of many items is much less than if you’d bought them at home. Liquor. board up their windows against hurricanes. . Many shops extend their hours and also open on Sunday if a load of cruise-ship passengers is expected. so you may now bring these items home without paying duty or counting them toward your total duty-free allowance. and go off on a vacation of their own. luxury watches. Most stores on the Dutch side are open Monday-Saturday. page 43. and advancedtechnology cameras. stores open Monday-Saturday. If you’re serious about getting a good bargain on specific merchandise. so you’ll come to St. local arts and crafts. On the French side. European ready-to-wear clothing. and jewelry are some of the best buys. Since goods are free of import duty and local sales tax. European china and crystal. During low season. Loose gemstones.144 n Shopping on imported merchandise and local products. and each citizen of the US can bring back up to $600 worth of duty-free goods (see Returning Home. so they are a bargain at any price. check prices and quality in shops and discount outlets at home. and porcelain figurines such as Lladro pieces recently have been granted additional exemptions. Local art and products that aren’t available in your hometown make wonderful gifts and cherished souvenirs. hours of operation may be reduced.
just south of the Government Building. Recent refurbishing has improved the curb appeal somewhat. or unusual merchandise. St. % 599-5428895). Colombian Emeralds (jewelry.) Paid parking is available a block closer to Front Street at the corner of Peterson Street and Cannegieter Street. You can get some good deals on souvenirs and T-shirts from these local businessmen. great atmosphere. % 599-542-8863. including Oro de Sol (jewelry. % 599-5437020. Dutch Delfts Blue Gallery (Holland’s famous porcelain and tile. and the wickedly delicious Belgian Chocolate Shop. % 599-542-6315). . The stores here are some of the most exquisite. Rates are $1 per hour up to $14 for a full day. but browse a bit before you start buying. A conspicuous exception is Old Street Mall (% 599-542-8895) a narrow brick-paved alley lined with two-story faux-Dutch buildings and potted palms. Open-air vendors set up near the paid parking lot and on Great Bay Beach. for the most part. the following are our favorites for either good prices. 92 A Front Street. but. % 599-542-39-33). The majority of shops are lined up along Front Street. Martin Jewelry Joe’s Jewelry International. the stores look fairly weathered and shabby on the outside. (Watch for signs pointing the way as you enter town. While it’s impossible to describe or even list all the best buys and worthy stores along Philipsburg’s Front Street. www.com. % 599-542-2737). with storefronts facing inward on both sides of the road.joesjewelry. Tommy Hilfiger (the designer’s clothing and accessories.Top Shops in Philipsburg n 145 n Top Shops in Philipsburg Park free near the police station on Walter Nesbeth Road.
146 n Shopping You can’t walk more than a few feet along Front Street without spotting a Joe’s. #46. % 599-5423456.com. there’s Joe’s Blue Diamond at #68. This family-owned store is now run by the second generation.majesticjewelers. yellow. www. so you can trust them to be around and stand behind anything they sell. Artistic Jewelers. Compare their prices on tanzanite. and combo) and explain how 18 karat is the best for jewelry (even though it’s only 75% pure). % 599-5422473. Individual pieces make great special-occasion gifts to collect for yourself or give to others. They come in white or yellow gold (18K) and platinum. Tip: When shopping for a watch. Cartier. be sure to drop by Blue Diamond to see the awesome collection of blue-and-white diamond rings and earrings. you’ll usually find the best discounts (30-44%) on Citizen. And they sell a wide variety of brand name watches. www. #65A and #66. Also. If you’re the type that likes to change the look of your jewelry every time you change clothes. the exotic blue- . Each store is a bit different from the others. jewelry. 46 Front Street. Seiko and Movado brands. check out this store’s assortment of mix-and-match rings and bracelets that can be worn alone or stacked in various arrangements. but the theme at all locations is customer education and satisfaction. and Joe’s Jewelry at #40B. In addition to Jewelry International at #92A. and loose or set diamonds. Majesty Jewelry. If you don’t have time to visit each shop. Expect savings on other brands. Joe’s Diamonds at #60. 61 Front Street. including Swiss Army. browse their selection of pricey Mikimoto pearls. One of the knowledgeable sales staff will bring you up to speed on the various colors of gold (white. to range from 1520% off US prices.com. whereas pure gold (24K) is too soft for wearable art. and some are set with diamonds. and platinum is stronger than all gold – thus ideal as the head setting for rings. and Tissot.artisticjewelers.
Birth Stones The perfect gift to bring home to someone special is a piece of jewelry designed around their birth stone. and the spectacular blue stone wasn’t discovered until 1967. Before you buy tanzanite anywhere else. (Red and green were the Russian imperial colors. bracelets. % 599-5421534.) Tanzanite International. 12-14 Front Street. Be sure to ask for a certificate of authenticity before you make the purchase. January February March April May June July August September October November December Garnet St. check out the prices and large selection here. Tanzanite is found only in the state of Tanzania near Mount Kilimanjaro in east Africa. If you have the tenacity to shop several stores and possess .Top Shops in Philipsburg n 147 to-purple stone from Africa. They have loose stones as well as exquisite earrings. Martin Amethyst Aquamarine Diamond Emerald Pearl Ruby Peridot Sapphire Opal Topaz Turquoise Cameras & Video Equipment There’s no shortage of electronic gear and cameras on St. a fascinating gem named for a Russian czar that changes from green in daylight to red in incandescent light. and rings. and alexandrite. Martin.
31 Front Street. % 599-5425259. stop by this boutique inside the Polo Ralph Lauren Building. The name just about says it all. Olympus. video. and loose diamonds. Perfume Palace. Look for products by Calvin Klein. and camera equipment. digital cameras. Caribbean Camera Center. Do a little research before you leave home. but the store also has a good selection of electronic. this is the place to compare prices. Polo Ralph Lauren Building. stop into a couple of stores to check availability and prices. . 93 Front Street. Chances are you’ll walk away with a super buy. Estee Lauder. but if you’re not going to that side of the island. % 599-5452063. the main town on the French side. Nina Ricci. Shoppers have been going to Boolchand’s since the 1930s for jewelry. Once you’re on the island. Then go back to your favorite with cash or credit card in hand to make a reasonable offer. Cosmetics & Skin Care Products Lipstick. You’ll find more than perfume at this jam-packed shop. % 599-542-2445. If you know what you want. Dior.148 n Shopping a talent for bargaining. ask one of the sales staff to run through the virtues of different brands and help you decide what will work best for you. % 599-542-6051. A second shop is located at the airport for last-minute duty-free purchases. and video equipment. and Sony. % 599-542-3017. Boolchand’s. Cartier. Bose. you can get some extraordinary deals. 50 Front Street. but European fragrances are the best buy. Perfume. Marigot. and many brands that are difficult or impossible to find in North America. has three of these popular cosmetic shops. 48 Front Street. with brand names such as Nikon. so you’ll know what you’re looking for and what it’s worth. Both of the stores below are well-stocked with cameras. If you don’t have a clue. JVC. watches.
Tip: If you’re leaving the island by plane. Greenwith displays the works of more than 40 Caribbean artists. post cards. Gift World. If you like the sample. . If you want to swoop up all your souvenirs. order a Guavaberry Colada to sip as you browse through the shop’s other island-made products. T-shirts. 33 Front Street. this is the store for you.com.Top Shops in Philipsburg n 149 Liquor Guavaberry Emporium. www. You can taste the liqueurs made with this local fruit at the Emporium housed in a colorful 18th-century building that stands on Front Street. Point Blanche Cruise Ship Port. or posters. everything may be purchased framed or unframed. % 599-542-4120. The staff are experts at packing and will even bundle up delicate pottery for the trip back home. and sold throughout the islands.000 types of wine and liquor are stocked here. Philipsburg Liquor Store. St. Martin Art Greenwith Gallery. In addition to all the popular brands of liquor. 44 Front Street. and locally made crafts. 8-10 Front Street. Promenade Arcade. % 599-542-2965. Guavaberry liqueur is made on St. More than 1. Possibly the most beautiful shop on the island. % 599-545-4503. and gifts in one shop so that you can hit the beach before noon. prints. Choose original paintings. so you’re sure to find your favorites. liquor. Nanette Bearden Fine Arts Gallery. Martin. % 599-545-4267. buy your liquor in the airport terminal from Antillean Liquors. the shelves are filled with sunglasses.guavaberry. 21 and 45 Front Street. % 599-542-3587. Look for the colorful building located beside the cruise ship dock. % 599-542-0666.
% 599-542-2737. a former artistic director of her own dance theater. and the wife of internationally acclaimed artist. You’ll be glad you packed light when you spot the great outfits at this shop. The gallery on the second level of the Promenade Arcade on Front Street remains open as a tribute to its former owners and their passion for promoting the work of young artists. Choose from Battenburg Lace. who died 1988. Last Mango in Paradise. Everything is well-priced. www. Jimmy Buffett fans must allow plenty of time to look over this large collection of his CDs. % 599-542-2962. Each month. % 599-542-0554. the shop exhibits the new works of select Caribbean artists. In addition to T-shirts and beach accessories. pants. but she was a great lover of the arts. embroidered. and crocheted items. com. napkins. % 599-542-2533. you’ll find island-made arts and crafts. pillowcases. place mats.150 n Shopping American Nanette Bearden died in 1996. 15 Front Street. Tablecloths Linen Galore. then drop into a comfy chair to watch him perform in concert on video. Island-Style Clothing & Stuff Shipwreck Shop. a Rasta painter from Saint Lucia. . 34 Front Street. Boardwalk. Stock up on sun dresses. tops. spices. Shop. Stock up on tablecloths. Mosera. 7 Front Street.shipwreckshops. and Caribbean Soul Tshirts. so load up that shopping bag. and other home accessories at one of these two linen boutiques. Romare Bearden. hammocks. and accessories to wear while you’re on the island and again at summertime parties back home. % 599-542-2058. creates and displays his oversized oil and watercolor paintings at this combination studio/gallery. Ras Mosera. and baskets. 97 Front Street. 17 Front Street. books.
Look for the stylish creations of Gottex. 27 Front Street. If you buy these brands at home. 95 Pond Fill Road (also called Nisbet Road). All the casual clothing at this store appears to be decorated with black-and-white designs. % 599-545-2618. A second shop is on Airport Road in Simpson Bay. Step back inside.beachwearima. Ah. Martin Upscale Clothing & Accessories The stores listed below sell the clothing and accessories designed by their famous designer namesakes. science. % 599-542-1424. made-in-Bali batik clothing and handicrafts sold at this small shop. and the picture reverts back to black-and-white. Great fun. towels. the design comes alive with tropical colors. and you’d be dressed for the beach in the gorgeous designer swim wear and coverups sold here. You won’t be able to resist the exotic. more if you happen to find a sale. technology is terrific. % 599-542-3525.Top Shops in Philipsburg n 151 Endless Summer. % 599-542-8784. Calvin Klein. Dalila Boutique. The designs are made with organic crystals that react colorfully to ultraviolet light. Anne Cole. and beach bags. As both a wholesaler and retailer. shirts. St. 30 Front Street. and the perfect gift to bring the kids back home. Tara Grinna. Ask the sales people to show you how to tie one of the colorful pareos into a Tahitian-style dress or skirt. but across from the Heineken Bar (it looks like an airplane) on the road that runs parallel to the salt pond. but when the fabric is exposed to the sun. It’s not on the main drag in Philipsburg.com. you’ll recognize the bargains when you see them. % 599-542-1510. coverups. Expect to save about 20% over prices in North America. Magic? No. this factory outlet can offer fantastic prices. The store has hundreds of swimsuits. 23 Front Street. summer would last year-round. www. and others. Pilpel. Del Sol. Rima Beach World. In a perfect world. .
All the pretty little things you love. shops are spread out among several streets. and fabulous jewelry are all laid out in this pleasant boutique. with the majority of fine boutiques on Rue de la République and Rue de la Liberté.152 n Shopping Liz Claiborne. and other fine items from around the world are duty-free. 80 Front Street. sauces and liquor. Go ahead and spoil yourself. Tip: Le Grand Marché. 28 Front Street. Little Europe. Plan to spend some time admiring. 79 Bush Road. 40 Front Street. pricey perfume. 48 Front Street. Only the best is displayed here. % 599-542-2982. Other shops along Front Street sell similar merchandise. % 599-542-4371. as well as an abundance of produce and fresh foods. are nestled into this upscale shop. 31 Front Street. % 599-543-0380 Polo Ralph Lauren. 66 Front Street. Ashburry’s. which makes them 1015% less pricey than in North America. % 599-5422633 This & That New Amsterdam Store. and you may discover that you can’t pass them up at these prices. but this one-stop outfit puts it all under one roof at competitive prices. % 599-543-0195 Tommy Hilfiger. n Best Boutiques in Marigot In the French capital. Hummel figures. is the largest supermarket on the island. Pasquale Bruni jewels. but never buy for yourself. % 599-542-2787. You’ll discover other . Fine leather luggage. Piaget watches. % 599-542-4400. 79 Front Street. and perhaps coveting. They carry a good selection of spices. This three-level store near the courthouse on Wathey Square has been selling everything from designer shoes to fine china since 1925. exquisite sunglasses. % 599-542-6315 United Colors of Benetton.
the French hypermart. 26 Rue de la République. Here’s a listing of my favorite shops based on merchandise selection. % 590-51-01-15. in the direction of Grand Case. the road leading into town from Sandy Ground to the south. sun block. % 590-87-56-51. All others should strive for such heights of luxury. the Swiss name made famous in 1860. The office has maps and a table with leaflets offering discounts at stores and attractions on the French side. or other everyday necessities. and a large public market takes place at the waterside town square on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Rue de la République. but the roads are only a few blocks long. designer jewelry. If you know and love fine things. While Philipsburg is my choice shopping town for bargains on jewelry and Caribbean-style clothes and accessories.Best Boutiques in Marigot n 153 great buys in stores along Rue du Président Kennedy. The watches. Chopard. so you’re never far away. are absolute perfec- . and top-name watches. which borders the Marina Port la Royale. of course. on Rue de Hollande on the far northeast side of town. de France. crystal. Martin Jewelry Oro de Sol. St. Marigot is generally better for European fashions. Tip: Park free in front of the Office du Tourisme (% 87-57-21) on Rue du Morne. Just stroll until you spot the sign or awning baring the store’s name. bargain prices. Vendors set up along the harbor. and anything French. linens. stop at Match. leather goods. If you just want to pick up picnic supplies. There are those among us who wear only Chopard. and scattered among the side streets. and friendly service: Most of the stores in Marigot do not display a street number. or in the waterfront lot on Blvd. you’ll be impressed with this shop’s inventory of imported china.
1 Rue Low Town. Admire. % 590-87-25-03 Designer Sunglasses Optical. silverware. . Liquor & Wine (See sister-store reviews for Vinissimo and Le Goût du Vin under Top Shops in the St. sunglasses. Look. perfumes. Act III. Hermès. Pomellato. and Chaumet. shorts.) Vinissimo. Rue du Général de Gaulle/Plaza Caraïbes. % 590-87-13-08 Optic 2000. Perrin. 3 Rue du Président Kennedy. Named for one of the most talented rugby players in history. Rue du Président Kennedy/Marina Port la Royale. Unique jewelry designs are by Dinh Van. Chanel. and jewelry. this shop carries men’s shirts. The collection includes watches by Jaeger-Lecoultre. The one in Marigot carries additional French merchandise.J. % 590-29-28-43. Browse the luxury. Girard-Perregaux. Rue du Général de Gaulle. Bell & Ross. % 590-29-65-49.154 n Shopping tion. Rue de l’Anguill (north of the marina off Rue du Général de Gaulle). European Fashions & Accessories Serge Blanco. % 590-52-97-82 Tip: Don’t dismiss Little Switzerland on Rue de la République (% 590-87-0902) as a been-there-seen-it-all place. even if you don’t buy. but many are not aware of the excellent Chopard collections of silk scarves and ties. Come. % 590-87-70-78 Le Goût du Vin. France. Passions. Barts section. Rue du Général de Gaulle. and jackets made near Blanco’s hometown of Biarritz. % 59087-18-00. Search out a little bauble at this upscale jewelry shop. and O.
Rue de la République. and luxurious fragrances are best sellers at this renowned shop. You’ll find all your old favorites and discover the latest beauty products from Europe. share space with Swiss Army knives. The Marina Port la Royale location also has a full-service salon. Pentax. The exquisite fashions carry labels such as Thierry Mugler. With many of the same brands as Lipstick. Rue du Général de Gaulle. Cosmetics & Skin Care Products Lipstick. Italians can’t get enough of the fashions found at Max Mara. Rue de la République. St. and Canon. www. % 590-87-5877. 6 Rue du Président Kennedy. % 590-87-54-91. then grab some snorkel equipment and sun block and be on your way to the beach. Martin Cameras & Video Equipment Maneks. Rue du Général de Gaulle/Plaza Caraïbes. % 590-87-73-24. these shops are the best on the island for skin care products. and you’ll understand why when you see the easy-to-wear designs made of top-quality fabrics. and perfume. Rue du Président Kennedy/Marina Port la Royale. Rue du Général de Gaulle/Plaza Caraïbes. Beauty and Scents. % 590-8728-48.com. .Best Boutiques in Marigot n 155 Shop here for the perfect evening gown or cocktail dress. Max Mara. Perfume. this perfume and cosmetic shop carries exclusive names such as Shiseido and Sisley. designer T-shirts. You can gather all your gifts and souvenirs right here. such as Nikon. Christian Lacroix. maneks-sxm. Name-brand cameras. % 590-87-73-24. % 590-87-53-92. Without question. Silk scarfs and ties. and Cuban cigars at this one-stop shop. and Cerruti. Hermès. % 590-52-99-75. cosmetics.
Some villas also charge by the number of . Rue de la Liberté. People live casually and naturally in the Provence region of France. and a variety of pure essential oils. Marina Port la Royale. some fabulous properties and a few simple cottages are available through individual owners and various agencies. % 590-8779-37. smoked salmon. but shop carefully and be aware that what’s advertised is not always what you get. Where to Stay n Private Villas While private rentals are less common on St. page 156. Yachtsmen and residents come here to stock their kitchens with imported caviar. % 590-87-92-59. vodkas. Martin than on St. and fine wines. usually on a weekly basis. Barts. Verbena Candles. Shipwreck Shop. foie gras. Be sure to browse the Internet for homes. % 590-87-17-69. If the price seems too low. Marina Port la Royale. truffles. apartments. A truly outstanding property with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms may start at around $300 per bedroom per night on a weekly basis. but don’t mistake this elite little market for a common neighborhood food store. L’Epicerie means the grocer’s shop in French. clean. % 590-29-50-33.) L’Epicerie. chocolates. but nothing special one-bedroom place to rent for about $100 per night. and champagnes. Lavender Hand Cream. You can enjoy the same tradition with products manufactured in the area following scrupulous guidelines.156 n Where to Stay This & That L’Occitane en Provence. Stop in to pick up fancy treats for a romantic picnic on the beach or a party back at your villa. Marina Port du Royale. (See review under Top Shops in Philipsburg. Favorite buys include Shea Butter Massage Balm. and bungalows offered by individuals. you’re probably looking at an undesirable location or a rundown shack. timeshare units. Expect a pleasant.
When calling the island from Great Britain. Vacation Rentals fax 908-832-6685. 590 for the French side and 599 for the Dutch side. To call Dutch St. dial 00. which will be seven digits on the Dutch side (example: 011-599-xxx-xxxx) and nine digits on the French side. or within St. then 590. www. Some of the most luxurious properties with private swimming pools and great views could top $30. then 590 again.villalady. www. then the area code.com . plus the sixdigit number (00-590-590-xx-xx-xx). Martin from the French side. dial 00. plus the on-island number. www. Martin. dial 00 to get international service. you must dial 1 + 599 + the seven-digit number. Martin from the US or Canada.com All St. St. Martin To call within the French territory. then 599 plus the seven-digit local number. you must add a 0 to the nine-digit local number (0590-xx-xx-xx).beachdays. Martin is confusing. Martin % 800-942-6725 (in US) or 908-832-6655. 590 or 599. which means you will dial 590 twice to reach the French side (00-590590-xx-xx-xx). If you wish to call Dutch St. dial 011 to get international service. When calling a French number from Dutch St. from.wimco. plus the on-island number.000 per week in high season.Private Villas n 157 guests. RENTAL AGENCIES WIMCO % 800-449-1553. Barts. then the area code. Martin from St.com Villa Lady % 800-338-4552 (in US). which means dialing 590 twice (011-590-590-xx-xx-xx). When calling St. but half that during the summer. Telephoning Calling to.
pierres-caraibes.158 n Where to Stay Caribbean Way French Caribbean International Heart of the Caribbean Jennifer’s Vacation Villas Sunshine Properties Pierre Caraïbes Rentals & Sales Paradise Lodging Dream Beaches SXM Rental % 877-953-7400 (toll-free in US). fax 599-544-3375. www. then selects the best values for each island. look for a $$ $100-$200 package deal which may in$$$ $201-$300 clude airfare. www. rental car. Tour-scan computerizes published package trips to the Caribbean according to season.hotcarib. Many are offered and you may save a substantial amount of money. www. www.sunshine-properties.com % 480-515-9136 (in US) or 599-544-4498. www. com % 590-29-21-46 (phone/fax on St.sxmrental. www. or $$$$ over $300 discounts at restaurants and watersports centers. www.com % 800-231-5303.com % 590-51-96-12.st-maarten-rental.com % 800-322-2223. caribbeanway. jennifersvacationvillas.frenchcaribbean. com % 599-580-0457. You can search for your vacation by destination. www. Martin).com % 599-544-3107.com n Resorts & Hotels Whether you prefer a sumpHOTEL PRICE CHART tuous Dutch high-rise with For a double room for two its own casino or a small French compound with $ under $100 plenty of solitude. fax 599-544-4544. .www.paradiselodging.com % 800-721-0230.
St. the Dutch side of St. www. year-round upkeep of an entire property. Be sure to ask. hotel rating. The differences between staying one side of the island vs.” Then. So. The above scale indicates rates charged per night for a standard double room for two adults during high season. A government tax of 8% and a 10-15% service charge will be added to the cost of your room. but playing on the French side. It’s not necessary to spend a great deal on a room if you choose a quaint hotel. travel professionals advised “staying on the Dutch side. and preferred activity. We’ve checked out a variety of accommodations to come up with the following list of recommendations. or trade it for another resort anywhere in the world. They simply buy a week or two at a resort. If we missed a truly great place or led you to a bad experience. which makes it one of the most favored markets in the world. % 800-962-2080.com. the sages began to advocate staying on the quieter French side. the other are less obvious than they once were. Both sides of St. Martin has experienced a timeshare boom and now boasts 16 properties in the 16-square-mile Dutch area. and can frankly tell you it doesn’t matter. rather than a glitzy complex with every imaginable amenity. We tried both. All prices are given in US dollars.Resorts & Hotels n 159 cost. At one time. All these people can’t be wrong. what’s the attraction? Owners like the concept of owning a home away from home without actually being responsible for. and paying for. use it if they want to. The differences between the two sides have become as indistinct as the border that divides them. More than 50.tourscan. but you’ll still find the high-rises on the Dutch side and most of the smaller establishments on French territory. . e-mail us (comments@hunterpublishing. Martin The Timeshare Option Since the early 1980s. but may be hidden in the quoted rate. Martin have thousands of guest rooms in hundreds of extravagant resorts and simple inns. but playing on the livelier Dutch side.000 couples or families (rather than individuals) own a timeshare unit on the island.com) so we can alert other readers.
Little Bay. Philipsburg. You may be approached by recruiters on the streets and beaches who hope to lure you to a sales presentation. % 800-616-1154 (in the US). fax 599-542-6017. which is a thinly veiled sales presentation. fax 599-544-3010 . they rent them to non-owners. 599545-4000. fax 599-545-3316 La Vista Resort. and are equipped with color cable TV. when resorts often have unused units. 599-542-3366. Again. www. especially during the off-season. % 599-544-3005. report the inappropriate conduct to the tourist office. fax 599-542-4673 The Horny Toad Guesthouse. meet average expectations for comfortable furnishings. you probably will be offered gifts to entice you to tour the property.belairbeach. Burgeaux Bay. Accommodations Directory THE DUTCH SIDE Atrium Resort.or two-bedroom suites with living areas and full or partial kitchens. If you rent a unit in one of the timeshare resorts.160 n Where to Stay When a timeshare resort finds itself with unused units. just say no if you’re not interested. Pelican Key. % 800-417-9361 (in the US) or 599-545-4323. All recommended resorts and hotels are air conditioned. Timeshare rentals (rather than purchases) can be a good bargain. Just say no if you’re not interested. but if you are. but some resorts rent only on a weekly basis. % 800-367-3484 (in the US) or 599542-2333. % 800-480-8555 (US). fax 599-544-2128 Belair Beach Resort. often at very attractive prices. You may use all or most of the resort facilities without extra charge. Simpson Bay. fax 599-545-540 Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. Simpson Bay. % 800-223-9815 (in the US) or 599542-2572.com Caravanserai Beach Resort. fax 599-542-5410 Holland House Beach Hotel. Choices usually include one. % 599-542-2337. You can sometimes book by the day. or simply stop in to look around. % 599-544-2126. You should never be pressured.
fax 599-5422885. means WOW! Stars may indicate “super value” or “amazing view” or “best burger ever. St.. the author was very impressed. com 66 units $$$ Set beside a small beach near Maho Beach and the airport. www. % 599-545-4235. in addition to spa- . Cupecoy Beach. % 599-542-3588.caravanseraibeachresort.Caravanserai Beach Resort Burgeaux Bay % 877-796-1002 or 866-786-2278 (in US). % 599-545-2150. attraction.. % 599-545-2179.. fax 599-545-2178 Sonesta Maho Beach Hotel and Casino. % 800-223–0757 (in the US) or % 99-545-2115. fax 599-545-3180 Summit Resort. Martin n On the Dutch Side .pasanhotel.com Sapphire Beach Club. you’ll find a star . 599-545-4000.On the Dutch Side n 161 Mary’s Boon Beach Plantation. hotel and restaurant reviewed in this book has been evaluated by the author for its appeal factor. fax 599545-4434 Pasanggrahan Royal Guest House. fax 599-5453403 The Ocean Club. When the allure is better than good. Three stars . the Caravanserai just keeps getting better. Philipsburg. % 800-942-6725 or 599-545-4362.. Cupecoy Beach. If you find two stars . The resort includes onebedroom apartment-style oceanview suites.” You just have to read the review to find out. fax 599-545-2615 ADVENTURE GUIDE TO THE STARS Every site. fax 599545-5401 www. Maho Bay.. beside the name. shop. Simpson Bay. Mullet Bay.
The landscaped grounds encompass four swimming pools.divilittlebay. .Atrium Resort Simpson Bay % 599-544-2126. www.. Many of the units have little kitchens and spacious bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and showers. two tennis courts. including a weekly barbecue with live music. fax 599-544-2128... two tennis courts. two. www. and Little Bay is a great location. and three-bedroom units $$$ AUTHOR’S Spacious units in this high-rise have full kitchens PICK SMALL and wide balconies with views of the Caribbean. three restaurants.atrium-resort. restaurant. There are scheduled activities. fax 599-5424336. a health spa and dutyfree shops. A small Asian grocery store/café has a few tables and offers Chinese food to go.Divi Little Bay Beach Resort Little Bay % 800-367-3484 (in the US) or 599-542-2333. the rooms and suites are in colorful Dutch-colonial buildings clustered around three pools.162 n Where to Stay cious hotel rooms. Sprawled across several landscaped acres. and a well-equipped watersports/dive shop facility. and the views are fantastic.com 245 units $$$ AUTHOR’S The beach PICK LARGE sand has been RESORT refreshed. Bliss (a nightclub. and the popular Sunset Beach Bar. On-site attractions include the Dolphin Casino. and martini bar).. one.com 90 studio. the site of Fort Amsterdam. Bamboo Bernie’s Restaurant. It sits on a peninsula that juts into the sea southwest of Philipsburg. RESORT Ceiling fans and tiled floors add a touch of island . .
Unlike some timeshare properties.and two-bedroom units $$ We think this Wyndham resort is a good value on the Dutch side. and a decked pool area is a nice complement to the resort’s long white-sand beach. this one has daily maid service. and Italian marble bathrooms with big tubs. Six people can share a two-bedroom. Amenities are scarce. All for less than $100 per person per night during high season. a living room with a sleeper sofa. Wyndham Sapphire Beach Club Cupecoy Beach % 877-231-8767 (US & Canada). also for about $100 per person per night during high season. www. Martin . The popular Buccaneer Bar is on the beachand open daily for lunch.com 180 studio. dinner and late-night drinks. and you’ll be within walking distance of the eateries and shops along Airport Road. bedrooms with kingsize beds and a terrace.On the Dutch Side n 163 chic. except on Sundays. Even the smallest units have full kitchens with granite countertops and dishwashers. two-level unit. but the Indiana Restaurant is located near the pool. two-bath. VCR. These units have private plunge pools. fax 599-5452178. 599-545-2179. St. one.sbcwi. and dining rooms with seating for six that open onto terraces overlooking the sea.
three bars.com 25 rooms. nine restaurants.com 600 rooms and suites $$$ This is by far the largest hotel complex on the island. Smaller units have kitchenettes. about 40 boutiques.) Units in two high-rise towers aren’t spectacular. but they’re fairly spacious and have some nice touches.sonesta. Check out the services of The Good Life Spa at www. fax 599-5453180. nightclub.com. such as new furnishings. and bidets in the bathrooms. Owners Mark and HOTEL Karla Cleveland keep everything running smoothly so guests do nothing but relax.164 n Where to Stay Sonesta Maho Beach Hotel and Casino Maho Bay % 800-223-0757 (in the US) or % 599-545-2115.Mary’s Boon Beach Plantation Simpson Bay % 599-545-7000.. and lovely Maho Beach. spa. fax 599-545-3403. and one of the best known in the Caribbean. The only drawback is the darn jumbo jets that fly directly overhead. four tennis courts.and two-bedroom bungalows have full kitchens – perfect for keeping picnic supplies on . and the one.marysboon. gym. www. www. two pools (one is the largest on the island). Italian tile. and one. . and click on “Web Coupon” for discounts on a classic massage.com or www. But no one minds – it’s just too much fun.or two-bedroom apartments $$ AUTHOR’S This is a personal favorite – a quiet. studios. (Rooms are soundproofed. Guests get lost in the twists and turns of the walkways that connect their room to the casino (the largest on the island).mahobeach. well-run inn on PICK SMALL three miles of white-sand beach.the goodlifespa.
eventually landing on St. Mary Pomeroy. An honor bar is also provided so you can make your own drinks to enjoy in your room or while lounging in the lush garden.On the Dutch Side n 165 hand. family-style West Indies . She found a lovely piece of beachfront property where she could park her plane and built her guesthouse. She ran it for about 10 years. Martin. and you may find yourself spending long afternoons there chatting with other guests. Mary’s Boon. MARY’S BOON Mary’s Boon is named after its original owner. while Mary was in Canada visiting a friend. Mary flew off in her private Piper Cherokee. In the 1970s. Ask about the new deluxe studios with four-poster kingsize beds and verandahs that face the sea. For years. until. while enraging authorities by publicly criticizing the way they ran the island’s government. Watersports are available on the beach for the energetic. Martin A swim-up bar has been added to the lovely pool and Jacuzzi. and there are spa services for those who wish to be pampered. St. the government seized Nisbett Plantation. When she returned to find she had no home. The Seaside Dining Gallery serves a delicious fixed-price ($35-$40). an Englishwoman who left Europe after World War II to settle on the island of Nevis. one day she disappeared while flying her plane. she ran the elegant Nisbett Plantation.
com 32 suites and cottages $$ Along with your room at this charming inn. In the morning. La Vista Resort and La Vista Beach Resort Pelican Key % 599-544-3005. It’s really the best of both worlds – the tranquil intimacy of a quaint island-style hotel plus all the goodies that come with a full-service resort. Every unit. La Vista also has its own pool and a small restaurant. either a patio or balcony. from the junior suite to the oversized one-bedroom penthouse. chef Leona features a superb Champagne Brunch. sandwiches. you get full privileges at the tennis courts. which looks like a well-tended West Indies home complete with a front porch facing the sea. www. though. which serves hearty well-priced meals throughout the day. which shouldn’t be missed. and salads priced from $6 to $7. has a king-size bed. Reservations are a must.lavistaresort. breakfast includes a variety of egg choices as well as pancakes and French toast – all in the $4-$6 range. The penthouse is cleverly designed with the bedroom and one bathroom on the first floor and the living area with a sleeper sofa and second bathroom on the upper level – ideal for sharing with friends. and spa that belong to neighboring Pelican Resort and Casino. Italian dishes and seafood top the . is the private cottage. watersports center. fax 599-544-3010. Our favorite. On Sundays. The Hideaway. Lunch offerings include burgers.166 n Where to Stay meal every evening. and a kitchenette.
which we thought was too high. so we poked around a bit. Now. Who needs air conditioning. The studios have a sitting area that can provide added sleeping room for children. swimming pools. a king-size bed in the master bedroom and two twin-size beds in the second bedroom. If you book one of these newer rooms. Ask about the nightly entertainment schedule. we dismissed this inn as too simple to make the recommended list. we had heard good things about the friendly laid-back mood promoted by owner Betty Vaughan and the fanatic attention to detail of the cleaning staff. you’ll have a fabulous view of the sunset from your balcony.On the Dutch Side n 167 dinner menu.com Eight units $$ After an initial quick glance.thehornytoadguesthouse. Two-bedroom units have two full bathrooms. Outside. La Vista Beach Resort is across the street and sits directly on the beach. www. The Horny Toad Guesthouse Simpson Bay % 800-417-9361 (in the US) or 599-545-4323. And. a new waterfront swimming pool is surrounded by a large furnished deck. fax 599-5453316. $198 per couple per night during the winter. we’re happy to report a complete change of attitude. with complete meals ranging from $14 to $28. Each of the 18 units has a small fully-equipped kitchen and ceiling fans in addition to air conditioning. and on-site restaurants when you can have soft breezes straight off the beach and cook your own din- St. honestly. Martin . Still. we were surprised by the rate.
and the grounds are landscaped with fragrant flowering bushes. but the bathrooms are small. stop at the open-air Three La- . and request a kitchenette if you want to keep drinks and snacks on hand. but sparkling.com 60 rooms and suites $$ If you’re going to stay in the Dutch capital – and we don’t recommend it unless you’re on a business or serious shopping trip – check into the Holland House. but each individually decorated unit in the converted beach house (built in the 1950s by a former governor) is comfortably homey. and the other faces Great Bay Beach. www.168 n Where to Stay ner on a communal gas barbecue grill set up in a covered seaside pavilion? This place isn’t for everyone. but the hotel offers modern high-speed Internet access to guests. One side faces Front Street. If you think you can’t make do with only a ceiling fan. Ask for a room facing the water. lined with lounge chairs shaded by yellow umbrellas. the bathrooms are basic. Even if you don’t stay in the hotel. the kitchens are equipped with everything you need. The lobby has an old-world appearance with buffed hardwood floors. lined with duty-free shops. and kids younger than seven are not welcome. Each room is spacious and has a balcony. Holland House Beach Hotel Philipsburg % 800-223-9815 (in the US) or 599-542-2572.hhbh. The beds are king size. request one of the air-conditioned units. including a full-size refrigerator. fax 599-5424673.
It’s a marvelous place.Summit Resort Mullet Bay % 599-545-2150. the proprietors. Happy Hour starts daily at 4 pm. and Continental cuisine.On the Dutch Side n 169 dies Restaurant for breakfast. Chloe and Thierry. about a 10-minute drive from Marigot. and the surrounding sun deck has plenty of lounge chairs and tables under green umbrellas. Views from the newly remodeled swimming pool are spectacular. even during the winter. St. The adjacent Kissing Fish Bar serves poolside throughout the day. or dinner. on a cliff above Simpson Bay Lagoon near the French border. You may do better to travel by taxi. offer a substantial and popular Sunday Brunch Buffet for about $12. for a gardenview suite at this mostly-timeshare resort. and the menu features Dutch. but a van shuttles guests to Cupecoy and Mullet Bay beaches – a two-minute drive away. Suites are located in green-trimmed coral-colored cottages scattered among mature trees and bushes. consider staying outside of town. It’s not on the water. living/dining areas. lunch. Parking is off-site and not secure. and furnished balconies. fax 599-545-2615. www. com 63 suites $$ AUTHOR’S We couldPICK MODERATE n’t believe RATE HOTEL the reasonable rental rates. The newest units have full kitchens with large refrigerators. If you must have a rental car. .thesummitresort. You’ll have a view of the bay from your table. Indonesian. Martin .
the gorgeous location. and. Each of the units is nicely furnished and features marble floors and a well-equipped modern kitchen with a fullsize fridge and dishwasher. The Oasis. fax 599-545-4434.and two-bedroom suites $$$ . Instead of non-stop activities.org 50 villas and suites $$$ We liked this stunning white village because of its high level of luxury. three-bath penthouse is a two-story unit with a spiral staircase connecting the ground and upper floors. bedspreads. fitness and massage program is offered at the club for guests of the resort. Belair Beach Resort Little Bay Beach % 800-480-8555(US) or 599-542-3366. the resort offers convenient access to one of the island’s most popular beaches. A one-week diet. fax 599-542-6017.170 n Where to Stay The Ocean Clubs Cupecoy Beach % 599-545-4362. Owners Barbara and Bob Speranza keep the resort fresh through an ongoing update program. and sleeper sofas in the living areas.oceansnclubs. ocean-side units have dramatic balconies reaching out toward the sea.belairbeach. a large free-form swimming pool. most of all. a private 45foot diesel-powered yacht (Ocean Wave) that cruises the shoreline and lagoon. Some units have extra touches: the villas and one-bedroom suites have large Roman-style bathtubs with overhead skylights. www. and a very good restaurant.com 72 one. Recent projects added new window treatments. www. the relaxed atmosphere. the threebedroom.
Philipsburg % 599-542-3588. They have an additional bathroom. Since the resort is also a timeshare. freshwater pool and tennis court. fax 599-542-2885. clear water for a little snorkeling. which is a short distance west of Great Bay in Philipsburg. The two-bedroom suites are handy if you’re traveling with friends or children. but most adults would find the second bedroom too small to comfortably accommodate two adults. When the Netherlands’ Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana vis- St. Even better. Martin . Each unit has a well-equipped kitchen. The resort itself is showing some signs of age and could use a bit of upgrading here and there. Pasanggrahan Royal Guest House Front Street. www. dining/living area with a sleeper sofa and a private patio or balcony. but it’s the best room in the house and has a private balcony. the staff is friendly and the on-site Gingerbread Café serves meals and drinks all day.pasanhotel. but everything is clean. The door to your suite will open directly onto the sandy beach at Little Bay. you have your own lounge chair reserved for your exclusive use during your stay.On the Dutch Side n 171 Attention all beach bums: This place is for you. so there’s no worry about losing your spot when you go into the calm. you’ll have the benefit of a well-run activities desk and waterside sports center as well as use of the on-site coin-operated laundry.com 30 rooms $$ Ask for the Queen’s Room when you book accommodations at this in-town hotel that was originally the home of the island’s Dutch governor. The queen never slept there.
fax 590-5-95-00 Chez Martine. Orient Bay. Oyster Pond. % 590-87-40-26. % 590-87-51-59 Club Orient Resort. fax 590-87-59-93 Green Cay Village. since each room has guest-controlled air conditioning. fax 590-87-39-27 .” which are furnished with plantation-style furniture and have a private patio or balcony overlooking the beach. Grand Case. but it’s also popular with newlyweds looking for quaint romance and anyone who wants to be within walking distance of shops. piers and restaurants in Philipsburg. % 590-87-51-87. n On the French Side Accommodations Directory The French Side Captain Oliver’s Resort. maybe the hotel’s location will. Proprietors Tina and Olie Tinitali make everyone feel at home. Orient Bay. whether they’re really royalty or just living the life. casinos. Orient Bay. fax 590-87-40-84 Caribbean Princess Condos. they stayed on the lower floor in what has been converted into the Sydney Greenstreet Bar. It’s tucked into a shady tropical garden on the beach at the edge of the capital city. fax 590-87-33-76 Grand Case Beach Club.172 n Where to Stay ited Sint Maarten. % 888-843-4760 (in the US) or 590-87-38-63. Businesspeople love it. % 590-87-33-85. Afternoon tea is a bonus. % 590-52-94-94. The mosquito netting hung over the beds is primarily for affect. Grand Case. but it comes in handy if you want to open the terrace doors and sleep to the sound of ocean waves. It’s easy to imagine yourself living the good life in one of the deluxe rooms in the newer “west wing. If royalty doesn’t impress you.
All you need to know. Then. % 590-87-54-54. Baie Longue. is that the French hotel rating technique is all about quantity and nothing at all about quality. fax 590-87-18-87. Orient Bay. % 590-29-09-65. fax 590-8741-69. % 590-87-42-01. Tropez des Caraibes Beach Club. www. fax 590-87-92-11 Orient Bay Hotel. www. the property is assigned from zero to four stars. but a three-star property is required to have en suite bathrooms for only 80% of the rooms.com Hotel Mont Vernon. and even if you are. St.com La Samanna. soundproofing and air conditioning. fax 590-87-09-19 The Mercure Simpson Beach. you probably don’t understand the hotel star-rating system used in France. Marigot Bay. There’s no wiggle room. As an example. % 800-818-5992 (in the US) or 590-87-31-10. fax 590-87-37-27.On the French Side Hotel Beach Plaza. a double room must measure no less than 90 square feet in a two-star hotel. Grand Case. Orient Bay.hotelbeachplazasxm. The government uses a 22-point list to assess the presence or absence of specific features in hotels within France and its foreign territories. Martin . fax 590-87-87-86 n 173 L’Esplanade Caraïbes Hotel. a room meant for two people must have at least 100 square feet. www. % 590-87-87-00. Orient Bay.st-tropez-caraibes. % 590-87-62-00. Grand Case. In a three-star facility. Depending on things such as number and size of rooms. % 866-786-2277 (toll-free in the US) or 590-87-41-94. a hotel must have at least seven rooms to earn two stars and a minimum of 10 rooms to earn three stars. Baie Nettlé.mont-vernon. really. In addition. Orient Bay. while a four-star establishment must have a restaurant.com French Stars If you’re not French. And. the list goes on to include requirements for elevators. And what about bathrooms? A four-star hotel must have a private bath for each room. there are regulations concerning the availability of food. % 800/854-2252 or 590-87-64-00. fax 590-87-37-66 Palm Court. fax 590-29-41-30 St. fax 590-87-29-15 Le Petit Hotel. A three-star place must offer breakfast room service. % 590-87-06-55.
Also.La Samanna Baie Longue % 800/854-2252 or 590-87-64-00. fax 590-87-87-86 www. cleanliness or beauty. but allows no subjective evaluation of quality. four star deluxe $$$$ AUTHOR’S In spite of its reputation as the standard by which PICK LARGE all other luxury resorts measure themselves. La RESORT Samanna is surprisingly easygoing. If you still have concerns. The new spa is rated one of the best in the Caribbean and features environmentally serene massage rooms and two hydrotherapy areas where European-trained therapists perform a variety of services using highly effective natural products from France. and we disclose the ratings in this guide. These are based on their overall allure. Martin have been assigned stars by the French government. The resort puts as much thought and money into making you feel relaxed and pampered as it puts into impressing you with Asian objets d’art and exquisite Indonesian furniture made of fine mahogany and teak. e-mail or call the hotel directly and ask specific questions. A new air-conditioned fitness pavilion allows you to gaze at the sea while you work out on Cybex machines under the direction of certified instructors. have a look at the pictures on the hotels’ websites and read online travelers’ reviews posted through Internet chat rooms.lasamanna. . ambience. Barts and French St. You’ll find them in the main heading information. The author has also given stars (.com 83 rooms and suites.) to hotels with special appeal. .. Hotels on St.. and the cardio equipment has individual TVs. We suggest that you base your expectations of a property on the author’s written description and on-site evaluation rather than on the official French classification.174 n Where to Stay French law guarantees a minimum level of facilities for each star rating. following the number of rooms.
CDs and novels. If you’re celebrating a special occasion. Martin . which seems to overflow toward the sea. The bathrooms are huge and sumptuous. and the TVs and VCRs are cleverly hidden away in lovely benches when not in use. torches light the new floating-edge swimming pool. Be sure to wear a large pair of dark sunglasses when you lounge here during the day so you can covertly spy on big-name celebrities hiding under nearby umbrellas. A run down on the amenities reads like a tropical dream: 55 acres of gardens shaded by towering palms set on more than a mile of sandy beach. which has a private plunge pool and is stocked with love-themed DVDs. a gourmet French restaurant serving savory cuisine by candlelight on a lovely patio overlooking the water. St.200-square-foot Romance Suite. watersports for daytime diversion and a disco for dancing the night away.On the French Side n 175 After dark. then pop up in an instant when you want them. book the new 1.
Spend the lodging money you save here on the fabulous French food and wine served in the restaurant downstairs. it’s a good choice for anyone who wants to be near all the restaurants. and watersports centers. Chez Martine is actually one of many great French restaurants in St. Palm Court is especially popular with watersports enthusiasts because it’s just steps from the beach. If you only need a decent bed and a clean shower. .com Six rooms $ This hotel is simple and basic. Martin’s gourmet capital. with just six modest rooms on two floors. Still. All the great restaurants and Grand Case Beach are right outside the door. and we recommend it only for budget travelers who don’t plan to spend a lot of time in their room. scuba shops. shops and activities on Orient Bay. The hotel is an afterthought. read on. fax 59029-41-30. there’s a little refrigerator for chilling drinks. and an air conditioner to dull street noises and take the heat and humidity out of the air. Book a room on the top floor facing the water. Actually.chez-martine. www.palm-court.net 26 rooms $$ In the capable hands of manager Cécile Luciderme. Palm Court Orient Bay % 888-682-7604 (toll-free in the US) or 590-87-41-94. www.176 n Where to Stay Chez Martine Grand Case % 590-87-51-59.
It sits on high-priced real estate near the water on the powdery white sand lining Orient Bay. which feature a swimming pool and are shaded by palm and fruit trees. Each unit features a kitchen. Martin . It’s called clothing optional. and fans as well as air conditioning.On the French Side n 177 Rooms have dining/ living areas and are outfitted with microwaves. and an St. www. this place will take some getting used to. Ground-floor rooms open onto the lush garden-like grounds. an ample bathroom. but everyone takes the unclothed option rather than look like an out-of-place duffus. Every room has either a king-size bed or two double beds. Club Orient Resort Orient Bay % 800-690-0199.com 136 rooms and bungalows $$$ If you’re not accustomed to going about buck naked. fax 590-87-33-76. small stoves. cluborient. ceiling fans in addition to air conditioning. Once you get past the clothing issue. Deluxe rooms on the second floor are particularly pleasant because of their high-beamed ceilings and ocean-view balconies. and a fridge. the resort is fairly typical. 590-87-33-85.
a sleeping loft. The landscaped grounds merge with the palm-shaded white-sand beach. and a basic shower-only bathroom. But. and there are no TVs or telephones in the rooms. You can join the clothing-optional games that take place on the tennis and volleyball courts. A payas-you-go shuttle will drop you in Marigot or Philipsburg for a day of shopping. which has a dive shop and watersports center. work out in the fitness room. just a five-minute drive from Marigot. but rather plain. Furnishings are comfortable. and an extra bathroom. . If you want more room.178 n Where to Stay outdoor shower as well as a full bathroom. Each nicely furnished unit has an outdoor kitchenette on the patio or balcony. Most guests are with their family or spouse. the Créole-style Mercure is the classiest hotel in its price bracket. www. or dine alfresco at Papagayo Restaurant. fax 590-87-92-11. sign up for a clothing-optional cruise to Tintamarre Island on the Tiko-Tiko catamaran at the watersports center. ask for a third-floor suite with high ceilings. three stars $$ Located on the French side of Simpson Bay. A fully clothed maid cleans daily. ceiling fans. Five three-story buildings surround a large swimming pool next to an open-air restaurant that serves a huge complimentary breakfast buffet and a vast patio used for nightly parties featuring island bands.mercure.com 168 suites and apartments. don’t expect to pick up a date or meet your soul mate here.The Mercure Simson Beach Baie Nettlé % 590-87-54-54. .
www.gcbc.On the French Side n 179 .com 73 studios and one. the kitchenettes have a microwave and small refrigerator. OVERALL and the row of gourmet restaurants in the quaint village of Grand Case. and the sandy beach is no more than a hundred feet from your door. To that end. lighted tennis court. the resort provides comfortable accommodations in low-rise buildings clustered on landscaped grounds adjacent to a swimming pool. but the furnishings are informal rather than luxurious. this popular hotel caters to return guests who enjoy lounging about all day dreaming of the delicacies they will enjoy for dinner at one of the gourmet restaurants down the road. Martin . and the casual Sunset Café. well-run watersports center. fax 590-87-59-93..lesplanade. 590-87-51-87. and ponder the dilemma of what to do next.com 24 condos $$$ AUTHOR’S Views from this resort’s hillside perch are truly TOP PICK spectacular. the beach. dive shop. fax 590-87-29-15. . Walk down to the white-sand beach? Dress for St. You look out over the sea. www.L’Esplanade Caraïbes Hotel Grand Case % 866-596-8365. every studio and suite has a patio or balcony.Grand Case Beach Club Grand Case % 800-344-3016. Many bedrooms have king-size beds..and two-bedroom suites $$$ AUTHOR’S On a quiet PICK MID-SIZE stretch of RESORT sand east of Grand Case. Each unit has all the amenities you’d expect in a three-star resort.
You can use the pool at sister resort Hôtel . which includes a full bathroom. Each suite also features a kingsize bed. and one-bedroom suites all have balconies and wellequipped kitchens with standard-sized refrigerators. studios.Le Petit Hotel Grand Case % 590-29-09-65. but ask for one of the beach-front units with a HOTEL private terrace facing the sea – one of the best features of the resort. but they have a sleeper sofa and half-bath in the living area. .. and a wellequipped kitchen.180 n Where to Stay dinner? Simply continue to sit on your private terrace and stare at the hypnotic turquoise water? We especially liked the spacious loft units on the top floor of this pretty stuccoand-wood resort.com Nine studios and one one-bedroom suite $$$ AUTHOR’S All accommodations at this little hotel are excelPICK SMALL lent. ceiling fans as well as air conditioning. If you don’t have the energy to walk down the hill to the beach. www.lepetithotel. Lofts. and a king-size bed in the upstairs master suite. They cost a bit more than a studio. the hotel has a large pool surrounded by flowering bougainvillea and an adjacent bar. fax 590-87-09-19.
fax 590-87-39-27 www. and a full kitchen with a large refrigerator. Every detail is carefully planned for your comfort and convenience: most of the bedrooms have king-size beds.On the French Side n 181 L’Esplanade Caraïbes (a short distance away).com 16 villas $$$ Investigate Green Cay Village if you want the intimacy of a villa and the amenities of a good hotel. the outdoor dining area is covered. each West Indies-style villa is a stand-alone structure set in a landscaped garden so that the pool and deck have total privacy. Families and friends traveling together will treasure the private bathrooms adjacent to each bedroom. Green Cay Village Orient Bay % 888-832-2302 (in the US) or 590-87-38-63. If you want to stay in your room. a living room with lots of entertainment equipment that opens onto a private deck with a small pool and breathtaking views of the bay. the decks have plenty of lounge chairs. two. A continental breakfast is included in the room price. Honeymooners will value the extra seclusion of the hilltop cottages. and walk to Restaurant Row in Grand Case. Manager Kristen Petrelluzi is an expert on the nearby gourmet offerings and will gladly advise you. and the guest bath conveniently located next to the living area.greencay. Martin . The spacious units have one. the cable TV is equipped with a VCR. you can borrow DVDs from the office to watch on your TV. Designed by French architect Jean-Paul Goergler. or three bedrooms. St.
cap-caraibes. Orient Bay Hotel Orient Bay % 800-818-5992 (in the US) or 590-87-31-10. everyone wears clothes when they swim in one of . and a spacious furnished patio with great views.182 n Where to Stay Caribbean Princess Condos & Cap Caraïbes Hotel Orient Bay % 590-52-94-94. and has two or three bedrooms with one king-size bed or two double beds. a full kitchen. Club Orient.or three-bedroom condos and 35 suites $$$$ condos. large bathrooms connected to each sleeping area.orientbayhotel. Every Princess condo is huge. and plenty of glass give rooms an airy. natural stone. fully-equipped kitchens and either one king-size or two full-size beds. a living area with a sleeper sofa. Don’t expect a lot of resort facilities. Sliding doors open onto a furnished patio or balcony.htm 12 two. The adjacent three-story Cap Caraibes Hotel has large suites with small. Here. and the third-floor rooms have a marvelous view of Orient Bay.and two-bedroom villas $$$ Don’t confuse this hotel with the naturalist resort. $$$ hotel This is a fairly new complex – expensive. fax 590-87-37-66 www.com/condos. Skylights. and worth it. fax 590-52-95-00 www. but there is a small pool and Orient Beach is just steps away. The entire complex is quiet. teak. uncrowded and protected by security guards. up to 2.com 31 one. contemporary touch.000 square feet.
Martin Captain Oliver’s Resort Oyster Pond % 590-87-40-26. of course. however. Don’t book here if you have mobility restrictions. Clothing is. We can’t vouch for the attire in the bungalows. Smaller. Each unit is in a dusty-rose-colored hillside building and features bathrooms with double sinks and spacious closets. each with an adjoining bathroom.captainolivers. . optional at nearby Orient Beach. which have full kitchens and two terraces. www. a sleeper sofa. The villas are perched on a lanscaped hillside. The better view. St. Larger suites have two beds.On the French Side n 183 the two pools or dine in the restaurant. Staying here is truly an international experience. and a kitchen. less expensive studio units are available at the adjacent Jardins de Chevrise ($$. Larger units can accommodate up to five people in two bedrooms. More than a hundred luxury yachts are docked at the fullfacility marina. and some rooms overlook the wharf. and is the only hotel grounds in the world that sit partly on French soil and fronting Dutch waters. a five-minute downhill walk. same contact information). is from one of the spacious ocean-view bungalows. this attractive resort straddles the French-Dutch border as it crosses Oyster Pond. fax 590-87-40-84.com 50 units $$$ Popular with both European and American travelers.
A few of the suites have a small kitchenette. fax 590-87-41-69.st-tropez-caraibes. but dozens of beach bars and cafés are within walking distance. The resort’s taxi boat will shuttle you over to Dawn Beach whenever you like. monkeys.184 n Where to Stay The compound has all sorts of facilities and services. but during off-peak season. Rates are based on week-long rentals. Each of the units is clean and nicely furnished with king-size beds and cable TV. an easy stroll away from the famous French-side beach. at a very reasonable price. . The Dingy Dock bar has pool tables and serves light meals. The most spacious accommodations are at the top of each of the four three-level peach-and-sand-colored buildings. Watch where you step. You can arrange a deep-sea fishing trip at the marina or schedule a scuba outing at the on-site dive shop. com 28 suites $$ Don’t expect a beachfront location or a lot of club-type amenities here. The Iguana Bar is built over the lagoon and features a two-for-one happy hour from 5-7 pm each evening. The property is alive with parrots. Much less if you take a one-bedroom on the ground floor. The fancy name may lead you to expect grand things that the hotel just does not deliver. Even so. turtles. St. iguanas – even an alligator. www. and every unit has a microwave and tiny refrigerator. which are linked by sidewalks that meander through lush tropical vegetation. Tropez des Caraïbes Beach Club Orient Bay % 590-87-42-01. In addition to the marina. you’ll be on Orient Bay. you may be able to book by the night for less than $200. toucans. there’s a glass-walled swimming pool with a deck that extends out into the lagoon and a full-service restaurant serving French and Créole food. and there’s a small bar beside the hotel pool. There’s no restaurant on-site.
between the ocean and Simpson Bay Lagoon. take a 10minute drive east to Baie Rouge (Red Bay). And. The property is just over 10 years old. appealing decor. within walking distance of the restaurants and shops in Marigot. Every table at this open-air pool-side restaurant has a marvel- St. the views are stunning. and either one king-size or two twin-size beds. Le Corsaire starts the morning with a big American-style buffet breakfast. www. but all of the rooms have balconies (ask for a room on the ocean side). This isn’t a luxury resort. but still glowing and vibrant.hotelbeachplazasxm. fax 590-87-18-87. Martin . lounge chairs and umbrellas are scattered around the short length of sand and there’s a deck built out over the water. then switches to French cuisine at lunch and dinner. but the hotel restaurant is hard to resist. While the food is good and some dishes spectacular. and true love followed as we discovered its other appealing attributes. com 144 rooms and suites $$$ We were infatuated with this hotel the moment we stepped into its garden-like atrium lobby. mature enough to have the kinks out. or a 20-minute trip around to Orient Bay on the west coast. The hotel beach isn’t terrific (small and rocky).On the French Side n 185 Hotel Beach Plaza Marigot Bay % 590-87-87-00. If you’re a real beach fan. a small refrigerator. the location couldn’t be better: on the French side. cable TV. It’s not necessary to leave the hotel for a good meal. but watersports are available. You’ll want to enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the top-notch restaurants at Marigot Marina.
. this resort will meet your expectations. But. which have a sitting area. but put all images of George and Martha’s plantation out of your mind. kingsize beds in big rooms and a buffet table brimming with luscious French and Creole foods. an oversized terrace with an ocean view. peace and quiet. Most accommodations are in junior suites. a dinearound program for off-site restaurants and an assortment of other goodies. nightly entertainment and non-stop activities. and a more spacious bathroom featuring both a jumbo tub and a shower. nice-size bathroom (shower only) and a small refrigerator. if you want full service. Breakfast is complimentary. fax 590-87-37-27. Hotel Mont Vernon Orient Bay % 590-87-62-00.mont-vernon. and you’ll be tempted to enjoy all your meals there.com 440 suites $$$$ Americans may have difficulty picturing this resort in the Caribbean. 10 modern three-level blue-trimmed white buildings tumbling over 70 acres of lushly landscaped hills at the far northeast curve of one of the most famous stretches of sand in the Caribbean. Imagine. think of a huge freshwater swimming pool. Keep in mind that the international ambience and copious amenities are a big draw for tour groups and families with kids. www. Larger units are one-bedroom suites with a separate living room. make reservations elsewhere. instead. Now.186 n Where to Stay ous view of the bay. plenty of good food. and you can opt for an add-on package that includes drinks from the two bars. If you’re looking for privacy. balcony.
Tip: We’ve gotten some of our best leads from the folks who run dive shops and watersports facilities. and Welfare Road on the Simpson Bay lagoon. at the beach-side restaurants on Orient Bay. Martin Since food service is a flaky business dependent on the chefs’ moods. you’ll enjoy dining alfresco at one of the bistros facing Marina la Port Royale. . so eavesdrop on conversations and ask around to find out where people have recently had a great meal. both locally caught and imported. look for delicious international dishes – Indonesian. Even the waterside openair lo-los serve up tasty island favorites and tender meats grilled on oil-drum barbecue pits. the most exquisite gourmet meals are prepared in Grand Case. most of our suggestions are for restaurants that have a longstanding reputation. In Marigot. where to celebrate a special occasion. W On the Dutch side. While it’s possible to eat quite well on Dutch soil. and constantly-changing trends. is the mainstay of these restaurants. St. and they’ll tell you who makes the best pizza. economic situations. Martin.Where to Eat n 187 Where to Eat e probably don’t need to tell you that the best restaurants are on the French side. Active people love to eat well. and Italian. Fresh seafood. New places open regularly. they’ll be happy to pass on the information. Indian. They also know all the island gossip. Philipsburg has a few outstanding eateries. so if a kitchen has some sanitation problems or a top chef just switched restaurants. but many also serve steaks brought in from the US. the epicurean capital of St. but more variety is found along Airport Road. your delicious eclectic cuisine will most likely be accompanied by live music. and which places to skip.
If they do. leave the usual 10-20% tip. especially during high season.188 n Where to Eat Island Dining n n n n n n Make dinner reservations. If you plan to eat outside these normal hours of operation. French-side restaurants usually close completely between lunch and dinner. with the exception of a few small cafés. but feature only businesses that pay to be included. If they do not. If breakfast is served. call the restaurant to be sure it’s open. while most Dutch-side restaurants stay open throughout the afternoon. Call ahead to verify seasonal time changes and closings. the restaurant typically opens at 7:30 am. including hours of operation and phone numbers. Nearly all restaurants accept major credit cards. but Dutch-side restaurants often add a 15% service charge. but dress up a bit for the finest restaurants: slacks and sport shirts for men. excluding drinks and service charge or tip. Breakfast and lunch prices will be lower. Use the price chart on the following page as a guide to what a typical dinner will cost each person. sundresses or slacks for women. French-side restaurants include the service charge in the . it’s customary to leave a bit more for good service. These pocket-sized guides are filled with good restaurant information. restaurant hours are noon until 3 pm for lunch and 6 until 10:30 pm for dinner. beach vendors. though they may serve only a limited menu. No tax is charged on meals. and fast-food establishments. Shorts and jeans are OK attire for most places. Pick up free copies of Ti Gourmet and Discover at your hotel or one of the tourist offices. Unless noted otherwise.
fax 590-87-95-29 Le Cottage. 176 Boulevard de Grand Case. 234 Boulevard de Grand Case. % 590-87-76-62 St. no phone Sunset Café. north of town. fax 590-87-77-38 Le Pressoir. 89 Boulevard de Grand Case. These outdoor eateries run by local cooks are such an important part of the town’s culinary scene that the government financed their rebirth after Hurricane Luis wrecked them several years ago. % 590-87-51-87. % 590-87-55–80. 70 Boulevard de Grand Case. . 30 Boulevard de Grand Case. but don’t bother reading the selections. fax 59087-17-74 Auberge Gourmande. Martin n In Grand Case Lo-Lo Fast Food If you’re on a tight budget. stop at one of the halfdozen lo-los set up along the $$$ $26-$35 main drag south of the fish$$$$ over $35 ing pier. % 590-29-03-30 Rainbow. or DINING PRICE CHART just want to have a tasty $ under $15 meal while hangin’ with the $$ $16-$25 locals. but it’s customary to leave an additional 510% more on the table as appreciation for good service since the service charge is shared among all employees in the restaurant. Everything is laid out before you on a blazing oil-drum grill. fax 59029-24-46 Bistrot Caraïbes.Restaurant Directory n 189 price of the meal. % 590-87-77-38. 86 Boulevard de Grand Case. Menus are handwritten on blackboards. % 590-87-73-37. Grand Case Beach Resort. % 590-29-08-29. Restaurant Directory Grand Case Lo-Lo Fast Food. % 590-87-58-86. fax 590-29-07-76 Il Nettuno. You don’t need a map to find them. fax 590-29-0829 Le Tastevin. 81 Boulevard de Grand Case. Just follow your nose and the smoke wafting skyward from the makeshift barbecue pits. fax 590-87-55-45 Sébastiano. % 590-87-55-45. 97 Boulevard de Grand Case.
Tip: During high season (Jan-April). Patrons walk away carrying Styrofoam plates piled high with mixed grill and side-dishes for well under $10. (Don’t confuse this with Sunset Beach Bar near the Dutchside airport on Maho Beach. this is a fine way to gain access to the resort’s stretch of BEST SUNSET fine sand that separates Grand Case Beach from VIEW Petite Plage and overlooks Creole Rock.190 n Where to Eat Ribs are popular.sunset-cafe. and the half-chickens are always tempting. then settle yourself on the beach. stay on for happy hour drinks. but we suggest grilled fish or lobster. At lunchtime. No coupons needed. you will receive a free welcome drink just for mentioning that you’ve visited their website. You won’t find it fresher or cheaper anywhere else on the island. then linger over a candlelight French dinner prepared by chef Jean-Pierre.) Tip: Check the websites for “Internet Specials. Sunset Café Grand Case Beach Club Resort. www. fax 590-87-17-74. north of town % 590-87-51-87. French $$ Open all day for breakfast. order a burger or salad. art exhibits and restaurant specials.com American. and dinner Buzz at the front gate and announce your intention to dine in order to gain entry to the resort grounds. Grand Case sponsors Harmony Nights on Tuesday night at 6 pm. The lounge chairs have flags that you raise whenever you want something from the bar.” Often. lunch. During the day. Order a croissant or full American breakfast. . The roads are closed to cars (park on the soccer field) and strollers enjoy music.
Warm foie gras. so you are guaranteed a wonderful meal. accompanied by pesto mashed potatoes. perhaps the veal sweetbreads. Thibault and Amaury. www. Martin . Or. brother chefs from Lyon. If you don’t order lobster. The waitresses wear halter tops and shorts. www. without a hint of intimidation. Bistrot Caraïbes 81 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-29-08-29.bistrotcaraibes. or at all.com French/Creole $$$ Dinner only You walk past the live lobster pool when you enter this cozy bistro on your way to a candlelit table. An apricot champagne cocktail. France. You won’t find them prepared as well. consider the scallops drizzled St. Take your time and enjoy each beautiful presentation as it comes to your table from chef Didier Rochat’s kitchen. Pumpkin and crab bisque.laubergegourmande. fax 590-29-24-46. The friendly staff will help you choose the perfect wine from their well-stocked cellar. especially if you sit at one of the tables on the tiny porch. back home. A bit of smoked salmon. the romantic surroundings alone are worth the price of dinner. personally oversee the kitchen and dining room. Perfectly grilled inch-thick tuna steak with a pink center and a sun-dried tomato crust. Finish with a rich dessert.In Grand Case n 191 L’Auberge Gourmande 89 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-87-73-37. fax 590-29-08-29. so the atmosphere is casual and unassuming. com French $$$ Dinner only Set in a lovely refurbished old Creole house.
and many celebrities have enjoyed her hospitality and cooking talents over the years. Chaine des Rotisseurs. You can’t beat the tiramisu for dessert. Almost every entrée is dressed with a colorful. Chef Sergio Cussighn works with her in the kitchen to create tempting offerings for the huge menu. The view LUNCH will add to your dining experience. fax 590-87-95-29 Northern Italian $$$ Dinner only Closed Sundays during low season and for vacation from September to mid-October Owner Christine Janot was recently inducted into the prestigious association of French restaurateurs. and homemade fruit sorbets. order one of the creative salads or rich soups. or one of the nightly specials. just order the lobster-filled ravioli and the stuffed baked chicken breast. ask about the chef’s specials – you can’t go wrong with roasted duck or grilled fish. Her renowned restaurant opened in Grand Case in 1981. grilled rack of lamb. You’ll need to nibble a nourishing piece of freshly-baked focaccia in order to read through all the standard dishes and nightly specials. a variety of delicately sauced meats. which includes several pastas. so ask the staff for suggestions. If you want a shortcut. when there’s plenty of activity to watch. especially at lunch.192 n Where to Eat with garlic butter. The highlight for dessert is homemade ice cream. tangy sauce and matched with perfectly grilled vegetables. At lunch.Le Tastevin 86 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-87-55-45. . Select something light and white from the long French-Italian wine list. The restaurant’s name hints at a well-stocked wine cellar. fax 590-87-55-45 French $$$ BEST Reserve a table overlooking the beach. Sébastiano 234 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-87-58-86. In the evening. .
so take this opportunity to try several different vintages. www. . who learned his profession in the restaurants of Paris. duck confit. ItalianJapanese sesame-crusted tuna with spinach ravioli. Views of the sea are fabulous. The menu is best described as eclectic French. vegetable rolls with ginger sauce. Scallops with curried fruit salsa. Side-dishes are equally creative and delicious: asparagus in raspberry vinegar.com French $$$ Dinner only Closed Sundays during off-season and for vacation from midSeptember to mid-October There’s no view of the sea from this lovely white stucco restaurant. Ask Stéphane.In Grand Case n 193 Le Cottage 97 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-29-03-30.com French $$$ Dinner only Rainbow has been a popular dinner spot for more BEST FUSION than 20 years and has recently remodeled and CUISINE added an upstairs terrace serving drinks and desserts. Chaine des Rotisseurs. almond-crusted beef tenderloin. Owners David and Fleur are members of the prestigious association of French restaurateurs. and homemade sorbet. the sommelier. The yellow and blue plates and dining room décor will remind you of sunny Provence. but you get the idea. Martin . The restaurant claims to have the most extensive wine list on the island.Rainbow 176 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-87-55–80. www. Look for owner Bruno Lemoine. Creative dishes from the kitchen include pumpkin soup. Tandoori swordfish.restaurantlecottage. St. We could go on. but you won’t miss it.rainbow-cafe. garlicky mashed potatoes. as he roams among the tables visiting with customers. to help you select a different glass of wine to go with each course of your dinner. the colorfully tiled lobster tank is strikingly Caribbean. foie gras with unusual sauces (even chocolate). and offers the most wines by the glass. fax 590-29-07-76.
Stephane Mabille. but take your time mulling over the large menu as you nibble the bruschetta delivered to your table by the friendly staff. the tender fried calamari appetizer was a big hit. and the vegetarian in our group raved about the homemade pasta.194 n Where to Eat Il Nettuno 70 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-87-77-38. The much-acclaimed Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal scallops and prosciuto ham rolled around fresh herbs) lived up to its superb reputation. the owner-chef. Hunger-spiking aromas coming from the kitchen indicate a liberal use of garlic and spices. (We were pleasantly surprised to find that his recommended bottle was priced at less than $30. is from the US. On a recent visit with Italian-American friends. . sautéed shrimp in white wine and garlic. Next time. and the chefs are from various parts of Europe. but the cuisine is mouth-watering Italian. July 15-July 31 and in September Located in one of the oldest houses on the island. this charming country-French restaurant is on many visitors’ must-do list because of the flawless service and superb cuisine. www. and may cause you to be impatient. fax 590-87-77-38. Terrific Italian wines are available by the glass.Le Pressoir 30 Boulevard de Grand Case % 590-87-76-62 French $$$ Dinner only Closed Sundays during low season.com Italian $$$ Closed for vacation in September The owner.ilnettuno. we plan to try the house specialty. is quite proud of his well-stocked wine cellar and will suggest a great vintage to accompany your meal.) On a . Ramon.
and a vegetable tart. roasted duck in ginger sauce (moist without being oily). Boulevard de France. If you’re a true gourmet. We always choose the eatery with the biggest crowd. St. followed by the name and phone number of others along the boardwalk. Things only improved when we savored warm chocolate cake topped with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Marina Royale. % 590-87-54-42 n In Marigot Marina Royale It’s a lot of fun to eat at one of the open-air restaurants lining the boardwalk of Marina Royale in Marigot. Martin . % 590-87-92-87 Le Bar de la Mer. Marina Royale % 590-87-52-88 La Belle Epoque. % 590-87-87-70 La Main à la Pâte. all the restaurants post their menus and nightly specials outside the dining room. so you can spend a leisurely half-hour strolling along the waterfront comparing dishes and prices. which may make your decision difficult. The atmosphere is casual. As in France. % 590-87-94-60 La Petite Auberge des Îles. % 590-87-56-31 Le Saint Germain. but the average palate won’t be able to discern a great difference between the fare offered in these two towns. you will want to stick to the two dozen restaurants lining the main boulevard in Grand Case. We thought we had been transported to France – or heaven. Marina Royale. Below are a few of our favorites. Marina Royale. and the food is wonderful. our group sampled traditional scallops StJacques (sweet and tender). Many of the postings will seem to be similar. % 590-29-03-82 La Vie en Rose. Marina Royale. Waterfront.Restaurant Directory n 195 recent visit. Restaurant Directory Marigot Don Carmello. % 590-87-71-19 Le Chanteclair.
the service suffers a bit. On one of our many visits. . she ate whatever she pleased and nothing pleased her more than profiteroles. with Bruno hustling around tending bar and waiting tables. and dance lessons. while her much younger companion dined on salad. La Belle Epoque % 590-87-87-70. She never bothered with a proper meal first. featuring live bands. but your meal will be excellent when it arrives. We commented that she seemed to be enjoying herself. but we especially like the French onion soup and the salmon with basil sauce.com French $$ Monday-Saturday. 7:30 am-11 pm When this bistro is crowded. and tables spill out of the tiny dining area onto the boardwalk. Everything from pizza to steak is popular. Just wiggle into any smidgen of space that’s available and prepare for a fantastic treat. Make your restaurant reservation well in advance. 11:30 am-11 pm This is one of the smallest cafés around the marina. Owners Françoise and Bruno Darricarrere will make you feel like old friends almost immediately.196 n Where to Eat During high season. www. Diners nearby said the . and she told us that she came over from Saba once a month to shop and eat profiteroles at La Petite Auberge des Îles. but start with the escargot drenched in garlic butter and finish with profiteroles. which reminded her of past indulgences in France. You won’t go wrong ordering the nightly special. the Marigot Waterfront sponsors a mini-festival on Wednesday and Sunday nights. while Françoise periodically dashes out of the kitchen to chat. clowns.La Petite Auberge des Îles % 590-87-56-31 French and Créole $$ Monday-Saturday.belle-epoque-sxm. we met a charming English woman digging into the chocolate-drenched ice cream-filled cream puffs with great gusto. and said at her age.
The tomato and mozzarella salad is large enough to share. . the dive master at Dive Adventures. It takes a truly extraordinary meal to inspire such poetic praise. He isn’t the only one impressed by the food and friendly ambiance. 6:30-10:30 pm We heard about this fantastic restaurant from Vinny. . Letters and post cards written by dozens of happy. the gracious Sicilian owner and host. since Cécile on the award-winning St. well-fed patrons cover one wall and part of several windows. 11:30 am-11 pm The name translates hand in the dough. 6-10:30 pm Chef Cécile’s No Name dessert (a deep-fried pastry filled with chocolate) is famous. Le Chanteclair % 590-87-94-60 French $$$ Daily.La Main à la Pâte % 590-87-71-19 French $$ Monday-Saturday. Prices are very reasonable. but loosely means the chef makes everything from scratch.Don Camillo % 590-87-52-88 Italian $$ Monday-Saturday. Martin . Ask about his recent winning Camilo dishes. The prices are on the high side. and mahi-mahi in tomato sauce) and the red snapper in passion sauce outstanding. portions of homemade pasta St. the foie gras is a superb specialty and the grilled tuna is wonderful. sees to your every need and will make suggestions if you find the menu overwhelming. Enzo. shrimp. clams. but well worth it. We sampled several things and found the Caribbean Seafood Pot (pasta. and friends from Chicago (where everyone is a pizza expert) voted the Roquefort-chèvre-mozzarella pizza the best they’d ever tasted. Our French waiter was friendly and gave good advice about ordering from the extensive menu.In Marigot n 197 lobster was delicious. Maarten culinary team.
For dinner. .lavieenrosestmartin. wwwstgermainrestaurant. this waterfront spot serves French and American favorites. and it may seem that they all arrive just when you want to eat. Chef Patrick is famous for desserts. 8 am-1 am Everyone eventually comes to Le Bar. go for the highlyacclaimed Caribbean barbecue served on the spacious terrace. All kinds of fish and meats are basted with a spicy marinade and grilled to perfection. www. 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-10 pm AUTHOR’S This is one of the oldest and most popular restauCHOICE rants on St.com French $$$$ Daily. Martin. At lunch. Year after year. such as crême brulée and chocolate fondant. Restaurants Elsewhere in Marigot . it ranks among the best res- . 8 am-11 pm Family-friendly and handicap-accessible. Its tantalizing aroma will seduce you as soon as you arrive.Le Saint Germain % 590-87-92-87. but you should try it. you can’t go wrong with the pizza. and the homemade bread topped with an anchovy-enhanced spread is addictive. Try the fruit tart for dessert.La Vie en Rose Boulevard de France % 590-87-54-42.Le Bar de la Mer Waterfront – near the public market % 590-29-03-82 Varied menu $$ Daily.. Prices are high. Fantastic flavors. Nudge your way through the crowd around the downstairs bar and make your way up to the dining room on the second floor.198 n Where to Eat are generous. .com Crêpes and French $$ Daily. Try the French toast for breakfast.
Stick to reasonably priced salads and sandwiches at lunch. Restaurant Directory Philipsburg Antoine. % 599-542-2964 Greenhouse.skipjacks-sxm. Airport Road. % 599-545-2025 Saratoga. Simpson Bay Yacht Club.com Turtle Pier. Think puff pastry surrounding some type of meat and drizzled with herb-spiked butter. we thought the servers had a bit of a snooty attitude. 7:30 am-10:30 pm . % 599-542-2941. www. this time for dinner. Each elegant course will be served slowly to allow you time to enjoy and digest.leesfish. Airport Road. % 599-544-3331 Lee’s Road Side Grill. Airport Road. Welfare Road. the service was relaxed and gracious. Your surroundings will be as remarkable as the meal – coffered ceilings and candlelight. com Taloula Mango’s. Hendrickstraat.taloulamangos. Choices are fairly typical – roasted duck. www.542-4278. www. Martin Simpson Bay Cappuccino. Airport Road. % 599-545-3630 Ristorante Laguna.com Eclectic $ Daily. which is great for people watching. Simpson Bay Lagoon Marina/Airport Road. but splurge on dinner. rack of lamb. % 599-544-2421 Skipjack. % 599-544-2313. goat cheese sprinkled over lightly grilled filets. When we arrived during the busy lunchtime. www.Restaurant Directory n 199 taurants on the island. Airport Road. Bobby’s Marina. % 599-544-4233. % 599-545-2562 n In Philipsburg Taloula Mango’s Caribbean Café Boardwalk at Great Bay % 599. It’s located in a colonial-style house with a patio that opens out to the street and a second-floor balcony. fresh fish – but the sauces and other embellishments are out of this world.thegreenhouserestaurant.com Ric’s Place. but on a return visit. warm raspberry sauce poured over a poultry breast. Front Street. % 599-542-4278 St.
Specifically. Martin . lobster $$ Daily. a graduate of the Culinary Institute. and beef are on the menu. He helped the owners (restaurant veterans Su and Norm Wathey) tweak the menu to add a bit of jazz.com Steak. which turned out to be salmon and thick-cut fries. The kids can even get a grilled cheese sandwich. Start with freshly made pâté or one of the soups. Créole. Seafood. with splendid views of Great Bay. and a New York Times’ food critic says the lobster thermidor is outstanding. 11:30 am-10 pm Reservations highly recommended in season Owners Jean-Pierre Pomarico and Pierre-Louis Kesner oversee this wonderful restaurant. www. veal. we dropped into this trendy waterfront restaurant to get a snack and a cold drink. and the results are fantastic. You can’t go wrong with the veal scallopini or steak au poivre. Who would have guessed these things would taste so terrific? Turns out the chef is Dino Jagtiani. 11 am-midnight. you can find better elsewhere. we ordered pear-and-parmigiana salads to go with a tuna pizza. Greenhouse Bobby’s Marina. French $$$ Daily. and the view of the bay is unsurpassed.200 n Where to Eat Like a lot of tourists. Philipsburg % 599-542-2941. Antoine Front Street % 599-542-2964 Italian. ribs. A long list of drinks rounds out the offerings. but the French and Créole meals are as good as any you’ll find on the island. and Pierre-Louis often prepares a daily special. then ask for guidance on the entrée. but we came back later for a full meal because we were so impressed by the menu. Skip over the Italian dishes.thegreenhouserestaurant. On another visit. after-hours on Tuesday nights Happy Hour daily 4:30 pm-7 pm St. we were tempted by the Rich Mans Fish and Chips. The kitchen still turns out a good burger and other traditional fare.
In Simpson Bay
We were surprised, in a good way, on our recent visits to this open-air restaurant on the capital’s harbor. First, the parking was easy, due to a big new lot at the adjacent marina. Second, the food was as good as rumored. The beef-eaters among us claimed that their steak was better than any they’d had back in the States (the meat, in fact, was black Angus imported from the US), but most of us opted for chicken and fish. Both were delicious, but the mango-salsa chicken breast won out over the snapper in our show-of-hands taste test, even though the fish was obviously fresh and perfectly blackened. After dinner, we played a little pool, and the regulars encouraged us to return on a Tuesday night, when a DJ plays music and oversees a cut-throat trivia contest
n In Simpson Bay
,Ric’s Place Airport Road, lagoon side , near the draw bridge % 599-545-3630, www.ricsplace-sxm.com Tex-Mex and American $ Daily, 8 am-10 pm Sports fans flock to this casual, friendly spot to enjoy nachos and beer while they watch back-home events on a big screen. But many locals and tourists who don’t know or care about sports ignore the cheering fans, escape to the patio overlooking the lagoon and concentrate on the delicious food. Known for serving a terrific American-style breakfast from eight until noon, the restaurant also gets raves for its big juicy burgers and crispy fries. If you’re in need of a Mexican food fix, you can’t do better than the puffy, overstuffed chimichanga or beef enchiladas with all the trimmings. Regular visitors to St. Martin may remember the original Ric’s on Front Street in Philipsburg. It was owned by native Tex-
Where to Eat
ans, Ric and Kathy Hetzel (who now own Sputter’s Mini Golf). Later, the sports bar moved to its present location and, a few years ago, was sold to the Lopez family. Barbara Lopez died in 2005, but her husband, David, and daughter, Tamara, are keeping up Ric’s tradition of good food and good fun. ,,Turtle Pier Simpson Bay Lagoon Marina/Airport Road % 599-545-2562, www.turtlepier.com Eclectic and seafood $$ Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily We’ve heard good things about the lobster specials on Wednesday nights, but we don’t have first-hand experience. On another night, we were delighted with the coconut shrimp. Jumbo shrimp were coated in beer batter, dipped in coconut and fried to a crispy golden brown. Yummy. Later, we returned for a sandwich lunch, mostly so that we could enjoy a waterside table and look out at the lagoon. Things were a little slow coming out of the kitchen, but we didn’t mind since it gave us a chance to wander out to the entrance path to visit with the caged monkeys and parrots. Happy hour runs from 5 to 7 pm every day, and this is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the lagoon. Live music plays several nights each week during high season, and kids of all ages will enjoy watching turtles, parrots, monkeys and rabbits frolicking in their pens. Saratoga Simpson Bay Yacht Club, Airport Road % 599-544-2421 Seafood $$ Daily, 6:30-10:30 pm; closed Aug and Sept Call ahead for a table near the water – you’ll enjoy your meal even more. The menu changes frequently, and always features fresh seafood. Chef John Jackson (from Saratoga Springs, New York) cooks with an Asian flair, which tends to be lower in fat. If you’ve had your fill of seafood, look for steaks, chicken, duck, and pork dishes. Everything is well prepared, so you can’t make a bad choice.
In Simpson Bay
Peg Leg Three Palms Plaza, Simpson Bay % 599-544-5859, www.peglegpub.com Steak, pasta, home cooking $ Monday-Saturday, 11 am-11 pm, Sunday 4-11 pm Happy Hour daily 4-6 pm You remember ol’ Peg Leg, don’t you? Peter Stuyvesant, from Holland, who became governor of the island of Curaçao, lost a leg fighting the Portuguese for control of Sint Maarten, and finally became governor of New York, where he staunchly pushed for better taverns. Ol’ Peg Leg would be very proud of this pub that carries his nickname He would no doubt prop his wooden leg up on a stool at the stretch and settle in to sample some of the more than 30 types of bottled and tap beer. If it was an election year, he’d offer to buy a round of specialty drinks for his pals, then dig into the chef’s Blue Plate Special (served daily during lunch hour). While the pub is known among locals as a great steakhouse, the menu offers something for everyone. Ol’ Pete was a carnivore, but even he would appreciate the excellent pasta dishes. Pizza Galley Airport Road, Simpson Bay % 599-557-7416, www.pizzagalley.com. $ Monday-Saturday 6-11 pm When you ask a local where to find the island’s best pizza, they’ll direct you to the Galley. Owners JP and Lorna take pizza seriously and make their pies fresh daily from top-quality ingredients and better-than-average imagination. A basic cheese pie (ask for Bare Naked) is a bargain at $9, and you can get really fancy with the Surf and Turf (steak, shrimp, veggies and goat cheese) for about $18. Add a glass of wine and one of Lorna’s prize-winning desserts for a truly great meal. Look for
Where to Eat
the sign on the dock near the draw bridge beside the Lady C Floating Bar, and call ahead for take-out. ,Lee’s Road Side Grill Airport Road, Simpson Bay % 599-544-4233, www.leesfish.com Seafood $$ Daily 10 am-midnight Happy hour daily 4-7 pm Leonel Halley’s passion is fish and fishing. He owns Lee’s Deep-Sea Fishing, a charter operation, as well as the popular Lee’s Road Side Grill and Bar. (When you think about it, you have to wonder why all fishermen don’t own a seafood restaurant.) He’s a tournament-winning fisherman with a love of the sea, and his enthusiasm spills over into his restaurant business. His fishing boats come in around five every afternoon, and the catch heads straight to the roadside kitchen. You just can’t get seafood any fresher than this. If you’re one of the rare folks who don’t care for fresh fish, the menu has a variety of other options, all served with salad and a potato dish. The drinks are good too, and it’s difficult to decide whether to come in early for happy hour or stay late to enjoy the live band that starts up about eight o’clock most evenings. No reason, really, why you can’t do both. Ristorante Laguna Airport Road, Simpson Bay % 599-545-2025 Italian $$ Daily, 6-10:30 pm Call to reserve a table on the outside terrace so you can watch the light change over the lagoon as the sun sets. Then enjoy your exquisite meal by starlight. Owners Franco Patanée and Gianni Tirocchi started out in the restaurant business in their native Italy and have run three
In Simpson Bay
restaurants on St. Martin during the past 25 years. It goes without saying, they know their stuff. All pasta dishes are cooked to perfection, but those with seafood are particularly delicious. On a recent visit, we tried the linguine tossed with olive oil, garlic, lobster and shrimp. It was sheer Tuscan bliss. Equally delicious, the broiled lamb chop. We could go on about the desserts and espresso, but some pleasures are best experienced for oneself. ,Skipjack Airport Road, Simpson Bay % 599-544-2313, www.skipjacks-sxm.com. Fish $$ Daily, 11 am-11 pm This is a relatively new restaurant, but the restauranteur has been a popular fixture on the island for a long time. Brad Belding is the former proprietor of Hot Tomatoes and Sunset Beach Bar. Now, he’s become a fishmonger. The glass case in front of Skipjack displays fresh-as-they-come Maine and Caribbean lobsters, crab, a variety of fish and sashimi-grade tuna. All for sale to take home. For those who prefer to let the chef do the work, the main dining room is decorated in a nautical theme, and the outside deck overlooks the lagoon. Locals are so impressed with the setting, service and food that they voted it Best New Restaurant in 2005. No doubt voters were stuffed with beer-battered tempura shrimp and lobster pot pie when they filled out their ballot. Even people who don’t eat fish like Skipjack’s because the menu also features some steak, and chicken selections. Everything is served with rice or potatoes and some type of grilled veggies Cappuccino Welfare Road, Simpson Bay % 599-544-3331 Diner/Coffee House/Bar $ 24-hour service daily You can find more gourmet meals at a hundred different restaurants scattered around the island, but this unpretentious, open-air bar and grill manages the basics very well. Order
breakfast at any time of day. Get a burger or pizza whenever you want it. Find an amiable bartender after all the other bars have closed for the night. You can even get a decent steak here at a very reasonable price. Two big-screen TVs show sporting events or back-home news, the service is fast and friendly, and you’ll get plenty to eat.
t. Martin is not an island that goes dark after the sun sets. Dutch-side casinos, bars, and clubs go strong until the early morning hours, and frequently changing hot spots draw a sleek party crowd. You’ll have to ask around to find out where the best bands are playing and the best drinks are being poured while you’re on the island, but we’ve listed a few of the alwayspopular places. Also, check the entertainment listings in free publications such as St. Maarten Nights, Discover St. Martin/ St. Maarten and K-Pasa. You’ll find copies in hotel lobbies, restaurants, and at the tourist office.
If there’s a full moon, you must go to Kali’s Beach Bar on Friar’s Bay, % 590-51-07-44. There will be a big bonfire on the beach and dancing to a live reggae band until the sun comes up. During high season (January-April) Grand Case throws a street party called Harmony Nights beginning just before sunset on Tuesday evenings. Marigot hosts a similar event on Wednesday and Sunday nights. Both mini-festivals feature live bands, artist booths, clowns and other entertainment. Look for Lady C Floating Bar (% 599-557-7416, www. floatingbar.com) behind the Pizza Gallery on Airport Road in Simpson Bay. There’s always a party onboard, and you can order a burger or chicken at the adjacent Dockside Grill. Happy Hour runs daily from 4 to 6 pm, and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday a DJ plays music for dancing. Pineapple Pete, at Royal Village on Welfare Road (% 599544-6030), closes the restaurant around 10:30 every night, but the bar and pool room stay open until the early morning hours.
Monday-Sunday. From May through November. Bobby’s Marina. and happy hour on Tuesday nights. dancing. Philipsburg. stopping for a half-hour or so at various pubs along the way. Baie Nettlé. % 599-545-2632. you can join the Pub Crawl aboard the 40-foot catamaran Celine. St. www. Martin n Popular Clubs & Bars The Q Club.Popular Clubs & Bars n 207 Regulars show up most nights to play a bit of pool and tip a pint or two. Celine also has an open bar. Several evenings per week. Pasha. If you want to have dinner. Friday and Saturday nights. and you’ll return to your starting point on the pier at about 10:30 pm. Currently the numberone place to party on Monday nights. you get a drink and some type of appetizer. then move on. At each stop. two bars and two dance floors.Now the best place for live music.com.The Green House. beginning after 10 pm. Marigot. a DJ booth that rotates 360 degrees. the boat cruises around Simpson Bay Lagoon. the island is quieter and many residents leave for their own vacation. % 590-29-65-22. . and the word is spreading about the live entertainment on Tuesday. plays techno-music on the marina at Port la Royale Tuesday-Sunday. A million dollar club with fiber optic walls. Call ahead or check with the tourist office to verify that specific activities will be taking place before you make plans.qclubdisco. % 590-87-98-41. Listen to Bulldog. The cost is approximately $65 per person. so the party gains strength quickly. % 590-51-08-03. . Martin’s number-one music junkie and party animal. Cohibar. Open Wednesday-Sunday. % 599542-2941. because this is a popular spot with the boating crowd who arrive by dinghy. St. Club One. on the radio at 101. depending on the season. make a reservation. Leaving Turtle Pier around 7 pm. Marigot.1 FM on weekday mornings to find out where it’s happenin’. % 599-526-1170. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort.
you can try your luck at the casinos on the Dutch side. Oyster Pond. Simpson Bay. Call for a reservation for the Saturday night lobster buffet and dance party with live music. % 590-87-40-26. .com. this restaurant hosts a oneman band. Bliss. % 599-542-4279. Caravanserai Resort. A gazebo on the sand that is popular with locals and tourists who like to watch the planes land as they enjoy $1 shooters. ext. % 599-545-3361. at the end of the runway on Airport Beach. This is the place to watch for the elusive “greenflash” in the sky the minute the sun sets. Drop by on Sunday nights for dancing to music provided by a local band. so you won’t have the pressure common at serious Las Vegas game tables. Maho Beach. The Hideaway. % 599-544-3005. Simpson Bay.sunsetbeachbar. reggae on Thursdays and a Bar-B-Q Blowout on Sunday.com. tropical drinks and live music. Orient Beach. Kon Tiki. % 590-49-16-87. Drop by Thursday night after 8 pm for 2-for-1 frozen Margaritas and other specialty drinks. Sunset Beach Bar.208 n Nightlife . % 599-545-3996. www. Indiana Beach. Airport Road.theblissexperience. 1132. An open-air club with techno music and a swimming pool. La Vista Resort.The Boathouse. % 599-545-3622.Cheri’s Café. This is the Friday night rockin’ place to be. You can join in with karaoke. Simpson Bay. Simpson Bay. Captain Oliver’s. % 599-5445409. % 590-29-01-85. Friar’s Beach Club. is a shack on the beach that is popular with a young single crowd. Friar’s Bay. Bamboo Bernies. has live music at the weekly events: ladies night on Wednesdays. The dealers are friendly and laid back. Live music most nights. Caravanserai Resort. % 599-545-3998. . is popular with locals and tourists because of its reasonable prices and terrific bands. Thursday and Saturday nights. Iguana Soup begins playing around 11 pm. www. n Casinos On any night of the week.
% 599-545-2590.Casinos n 209 Slots take US currency. (Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands after the airport was built. Front Street. Rouge and Noir Casino. % 599-5453707 Golden Casino. % 599-5432565 . % 599-543-2721 Pelican Resort Club.) Most international flights arrive at this larger airport. This is a favorite with cruise-ship visitors. This airport accepts only small aircraft. Cole Bay. % 599-545-4601. % 599-545-4211. % 599-542-2446 Hollywood Casino. (See Telephone below.) . A AREA CODES: 590 on the French side.atlantiscasino. Coliseum. The airport code is SMX. Cole Bay.Dolphin Casino. Atlantis. % 599-544-4463 Lightning Casino. Cole Bay. More than 200 slots and 16 blackjack tables. Philipsburg. % 599-544-5222 Paradise Plaza. Philipsburg. Philipsburg. % 599542-2952. % 590-87-53-03. Front Street. Philipsburg. Front Street. % 599-544-4463. Tropicana Casino. www. Maho Reef. L’Espérance is on the French side. Simpson Bay. The airport code is SFG. Cupecoy. Martin Island Facts & Numbers IRPORTS: Princess Juliana on the Dutch side. Caravanserai Beach Resort. Front Street. % 599-544-3293 . Simpson Bay.Princess Casino. has Vegas-style casino and nightclub shows and dancing at the adjacent Pelican Reef Terrace.Casino Royale. The adjacent Showroom Royale features Vegas-style shows.com . % 599-544-5654 St. and entertainment is scheduled most nights of the week. Little Bay. % 599-543-2101 Diamond Casino. 599 on the Dutch side.
and the Trio gas station in La Savane. the Match Supermarket in Margot. and at Food Fair in Madame Estate. as well as on Front Street in Philipsburg. in front of Port de Plaisance Resort in Cole Bay. and at the bank at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club. Fares are inexpensive. and Captain Hodge Pier.210 n Island Facts & Numbers ATMS & BANKS: Cash machines are scattered in convenient locations throughout both the French and Dutch sides of St. Plus. Grand Case. and the large residential areas. but you may have to change vehicles several times to reach your destination. which are . Barclays Bank ATM on Front Street. Buses/vans. Some machines give you a choice. Crédit Mutuel ATM on Rue de la République in Marigot accepts Visa. those on the French side dispense euros. depending on the distance. Ram’s Food World in Cay Hill. Scotiabank ATMs accept Cirrus at the main bank on Back Street in Philipsburg. at the Shell Station in Madame Estate. BDAF Bank ATM on Rue de la République in Marigot accepts Visa. around $1 or $2. ATMs on the Dutch side dispense US dollars. Philipsburg. Windward Islands Bank ATMs accept Cirrus. and in the airport arrival area. at Maho’s Casino Royale. BUSES: Private mini-buses and vans travel the main roads between Philipsburg. ABN-Amro Bank ATMs accept MasterCard and Cirrus on Emmaplein in Philipsburg. Marigot. at the bank on Airport Road in Simpson Bay. Maestro. Bobby’s Marina. Euro MasterCard. BFC Bank ATMs accept MasterCard and Visa at the main office in Bellevue. MasterCard and EuroCard. at the Shell Station on Airport Road in Simpson Bay. MasterCard and American Express at the cruise ship terminal. Plus and Cirrus. accepts Visa. at Food Center in Cole Bay and on Bush Road. Martin.
) You may be able to have your home phone programmed with an international calling plan which allows people at home to call you on the island for less than 50¢ a minute – a great savings and particularly convenient if you need to stay in touch with kids or elderly relatives. www. and AT&T charges their customers a small monthly fee for the international calling plan. businesses. CELL PHONES: Eastern Caribbean Cellular (% 599-5422100. It’s safe to drink. DEPARTURE TAX: $30 for all visitors over the age of two.com) and Cellular One (% 599-545-2430 in Simpson Bay and % 599543-0222 in Philipsburg) will program your personal cell phone for use on the island at a reasonable price.eastcaribbeancellular. especially on the French side. Small establishments deal mainly in cash. Otherwise. DRESS: Wear swimsuits and other skimpy clothing only on the beaches and around the pools. However. DRINKING WATER: Most people drink bottled water. CREDIT CARDS: Most large restaurants. CAPITALS: Philipsburg (Dutch) and Marigot (French). you can rent one while on the island. but there’s St. and it is sold everywhere throughout the island. People dress up a bit for restaurant dinners. fax 599-542-5678. and shops accept major credit cards. water served in restaurants and used in hotel bathrooms is collected rain water or desalinated sea water. (If you don’t own a cell phone. Martin . shorts and other casual wear are appropriate during the day. Ask before you shop. and anyone with a sensitive stomach or immune problem should stick to bottled water. Consider bringing and activating two phones if you want to keep in touch with friends or family who are also on the island. but you may not care for the taste. Children. elderly people. Not all telephone services offer this option. hotels. if the credit card symbols are not displayed in the window. and nightclubs.Island Facts & Numbers n 211 meant for local workers. Few or no vehicles provide service at night. are crowded during morning and afternoon rush hours. casinos.
especially if the wind is blowing. Fire. % 542-2111. The official lan- . the official language of Dutch St. and perhaps some Spanish. % 543-1111. INTERNET: Many of the large resorts have Internet access for their guests. and some people speak Papiamento. Hospital. Appliances made for use in North America require a converter and a plug adapter. % 911. Dutch side = 16 square miles. Police patrol or sea rescue. You may need a light sweater in the evening. but if your hotel doesn’t. French side = 20 square miles. Medical Emergency. French Fire. % 18. % 5422111/542-2112. LAND AREA: 36 square miles total. Those made for European use may run hot. the language spoken on Aruba and other Dutch Caribbean islands. It’s 110 volts on the Dutch side and appliances made for use in North America do not need a converter or plug adapter. ELECTRICITY: 220 volts on the French side and plugs must fit French outlets. % 542-6001. Non-emergency calls: Fire. % 59087-50-08. EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Dutch Fire.212 n Island Facts & Numbers no need for a jacket or tie. Those made for European use require a converter and adapter. % 590-29-57-57. % 590-87-86-25 (daytime) or 590-8772-00 (at night). Martin is Dutch. Police. % 542-2222. Many residents also speak a French-based patois. Police. Medical Emergency.391 feet. Police. Non-emergency calls: Police. % 590-87-73-84. Ambulance. However. try the Cyber Café at the Yacht Club on Simpson Bay or Dockside Management at Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg. unless you go someplace really elegant. LANGUAGE: Most residents on the Dutch side and many on the French side speak English. Hospital. HIGHEST POINT: Paradise Peak (Pic Paradis) at 1. Ambulance.
in Philipsburg. Drivers are licensed by either the French or Dutch government and carry a published rate sheet. 106.Island Facts & Numbers n 213 guage of French St. Grand Case. but not as welcome as on the Dutch side. 94. the official currency is the Netherlands Antilles florin (1. which is an Overseas Region of France. which is within a few pennies of equaling $1. St. The island of Curaçao serves as the seat of government. % 590-8755-55. the quick math is to divide the total by two then add 10%. % 599-543-1133. expect change back in euros. Saint Martin’s Week. Martin is politically tied to the island of Guadeloupe. PJD-1 Mix FM.) POPULATION: Approximately 69.7 FM. % 599-542-5253. Martin is politically tied to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is part of the six-island group known as The Netherlands Antilles. % 599-545-2777 (in Simpson Bay). Daytime rates apply from . near the intersection with Schoolsteeg. % 590-87-99-46 (near Match Supermarket in Marigot). MONEY: On the Dutch side.75 NAF = $1). which lists authorized fares between many common destinations. Chartus. % 590-87-7867. If you pay in dollars.1 FM. PHARMACIES: Central Drugstore. French St.000. If prices are quoted in florins. and a large number of residents speak little or nothing else. On the French side. NEWSPAPERS: The English-language The Daily Herald. US dollars are widely accepted. % 599-542-2298. Martin POLITICAL STATUS: Dutch St. (For more details. Caraïbes. in French. Ask to see it. POST OFFICE: The main post office is on Cannegieter Street. % 590-87-47-27 (in Cul-de-Sac). TAXIS: Taxis are plentiful at the airport and ferry docks. such as from the airport to major hotels. % 599-542-5576 (in Philipsburg). Martin is French. The Druggist. but US dollars are accepted almost everywhere. RADIO STATIONS: Radio Transat. see page 72. % 590-87-77-46 (in Grand Case). the official currency is the euro.
50% is added from midnight to 7 am. dial 011 to get international service. Martin. French St. n When calling the islands from Great Britain. is rude. then the area code. Martin. add at least a 10% tip to the fare. n When dialing St. but don’t expect the driver to have change for large-denomination bills. or takes you out of your way. % 599-5435-4317. plus the six-digit number (00590-590-xx-xx-xx). plus the on-island number. 590 for the French side or 599 for the Dutch side. depending on the size and weight of each piece). TELEPHONES: n The area code for French St. US dollars and euros are accepted. in Marigot. An additional 25% is added to the base fare from 9 until midnight. then 590. plus the on-island number. Dutch St. Martin. % 599-5422359. you must dial 590 twice (011-590-590-xx-xx-xx). at the airport on Dutch St. dial 00. at the airport in Grand Case. n The area code for Dutch St. % 0590-87-75-79. When calling a number on the French side. French St. % 147. Unless the driver overcharges. n When calling from the Dutch side to the French side. dial 00 to get international service. n When calling from the French side to the Dutch side.214 n Island Facts & Numbers 7 am to 9 pm. Martin is 590. and confirm whether the rate quoted is per-trip or perpassenger. add a 0 to the nine-digit local number (0590-xx-xx-xx). Martin. . Tip a little extra if the driver gives information about the island as you travel or helps you with your luggage (50¢ to $1 per bag is standard. If your destination isn’t listed. which means you will dial 590 twice when calling the French side (00-590-590-xx-xx-xx). % 0590-87-56-54. then the area code. Martin from the US or Canada. Taxi Dispatch Hotline. Martin is 599. dial 00 + 599 + the seven-digit number. negotiate a price before you get into the cab. n When calling within the French system. You can also call the individual taxi stands: in Philipsburg. 590 or 599. then 590 again.
island time is one hour ahead. when you’re on Dutch soil. gas stations.Island Facts & Numbers n 215 TELEPHONE CARDS: Public phone booths don’t accept coins. TELCards are readily available at convenience stores. Cell Phones make calls from the Dutch to the French side easier and are a less expensive way of calling the US. If one is added. which looks like a credit card. and hotel desks on the Dutch side. Martin . island time is the same as Eastern Daylight Time. This is less expensive than phoning from your hotel. % 599-542-2100. A Télécarte may be harder to find on the French side. St.com. the service charge is added (hidden) to the price of each item on the menu and divided St. TELEPHONE OPERATOR: % 599-542-2211 on the Dutch side. TIPPING IN RESTAURANTS: On the Dutch side. but most resorts and many shops in the larger towns have them. Martin and St. Europe or neighboring islands. Major credit cards can be used from some phone booths on both sides of the island for long distance calls. most people leave another 5-10% on the table for the server. Martin’s time is five hours behind England and six hours behind France and the rest of western Europe during the summer. to make local and international calls when you’re on the French side and a similar-looking TELCard. East Caribbean Cellular covers St. four hours behind England and five hours behind western Europe in the winter. TEMPERATURE RANGE: Year-round average low is 72°F and the average high is 86°F. www. eastcaribbeancellular. since anything added to the bill is split among all the employees. % 12 on the French side. as in France. On the French side. Barts. in the winter. Buy a Télécarte. During the summer months. Martin are on Atlantic Standard Time and do not observe Daylight Savings Time. TIME: Both sides of St. but the rates are higher than with a prepaid calling card. a service charge may or may not be added to the bill’s total.
fax 599-542-2734.com French Tourist Office www.st-maarten.org.com www. % 590-87-57-21.216 n Island Facts & Numbers among the restaurant’s employees. near the Saint Martin Arawak Museum on the south side of Marigot.stmaarten.sint-maarten.everythingstmartin.com. Simply not leaving a tip will do nothing to correct the problem.G. located at W. tell the manager or owner as you leave the restaurant. Local contact. www. TOURIST OFFICES: Dutch side: Sint Maarten Tourism Office. Most people leave an additional 5-10% for the waiter in appreciation for good service.st-maarten.org WI FI HOTSPOTS: Boardwalk in Philipsburg. in the Vineyard Park Building near the Police station on the northeast end of Philipsburg.www.org Other Informative Sites . WEBSITES: Dutch Tourist Office www. Great Bay Beach Resort and Oyster Bay Beach Resort. French side: Office du Tourisme de Saint-Martin. % 800-786-2278 (in North America).st-martin. Sonesta Maho Beach Hotel.org www. More businesses and hotels are expected to add hotspots soon. fax 590-8756-43. If service is poor. www. .st-martin. located on Route de Sandy-Ground. Buncamper Road 33. % 599-542-2337. Divi Little Bay Resort.
Bartoloméo. Villa spying while cruising the coast. St. Barts or St. Privacy. which fit its sleek prestigious image better than its long official French name. F INTHIS CHAPTER n n n n n n n n n n n n n n A Small Island 158 Official Business 159 Getting There 160 Getting Around 163 Getting Married 166 Exploring St. Fans call it by its diminutive nicknames. Chic boutiques. and few deeply entrenched West Indian traditions. All in all. . few residents who trace their ancestry back to African slaves. and are vastly better than its Columbusgiven Italian name. even for celebrities. Magnificent gourmet restaurants. More than 20 beaches. St. it’s an attractive little enclave that takes great care to protect its privacy and doesn’t try in the least to be anything that it is not. measuring only eight square miles. Barth. it has few remnants of colonial architecture.St. Barts The Top Temptations n n n n n n n Fabulous little hotels with distinct personalities. some among the best in the Caribbean. Since it has little history. Barts 166 Adventures on Water 177 Adventures Underwater181 Adventures on Land 182 Shopping 183 Where to Stay 190 Where to Eat 205 Nightlife 217 Island Facts & Numbers 218 The island is probably the least Caribbean of all the Caribbean islands. Hiking to hidden coves. St. Barts or such a tiny island. Saint Barthélemy (say sain bar tay leh MEE) has a mighty reputation and enormous appeal.
Barts Later.000. So. You won’t have a non-stop schedule of things to do and places to see. Arawak Indians arrived. relaxation. Don’t let St. in fact. the permanent population numbers around 7. leaving little trace of their stay. they aren’t wildly outside the budget of many travelers. Barts for a short time as early as 1000 BC. Before long. around 100 AD. Nothing scientific has been written specifically about these two tribes. especially during the off-season. Both tribes left behind some interesting stuff. but experts assume they were related to and . Fewer than 400 people lived full-time on the island as recently as 1967. but they didn’t stay long. Barts was an isolated hideaway for the ultra-rich. had nothing to drink with their fresh-catch of the day. they couldn’t grow crops. including a site at the base of a huge boulder near today’s airport. The tiny isle is really quite affable. and were limited on decent hiding spots when enemy tribes canoed over from other islands. and may have been the island’s first seasonal visitors. and hedonist pleasures.Casinos n 219 Before the late 1960s. St. and may have stayed longer if they hadn’t been invaded by the nasty Caribs around 800 AD. and while prices are among the highest in the Caribbean. Promoters have begun courting a wider range of travelers to fill the expanding number of hotel rooms. but if you’re seeking peace. and many of those hold celebrity status. Pottery shards and crude tools have been discovered by amateur archeologists at various spots around the island. There was no fresh water and very little fertile land – very little land at all. H St. Barts elitist reputation keep you away. Barts offers the best that money can buy. but the majority of visitors still are wealthy North Americans. St. Today. they moved on. and the island draws thousands of visitors year-round. A Small Island Long Ignored istorians presume a few Ciboney Indians lived on St.
in 1648. more valuable islands. (See A Shared History. The Spanish didn’t want to settle. Barts back to France. which made it an attractive target for the British. Only a few Indians lived or temporarily camped along the shores. When he sailed by. all Europeans were wiped out. and moved on after naming it honor of his brother. Kitts moved over to St. a small group of French citizens from nearby St. the French government tried to set up a thriving colony on St. During the remainder of the 17th century. Barts during his second voyage in 1493. But.220 n A Small Island Long Ignored similar to Indians that inhabited nearby islands in greater numbers during this time period. Bartoloméo. . although very few slaves were held on St. followed by a devastating fire. the entire region suffered an economic blow. began laying out roads. In 1878. but they couldn’t generate much interest from their king or entice other settlers to join them. Barts. the Swedish king renamed the harbor Gustavia. Then. Barts. and the island became an undesirable economic burden. he didn’t notice any natives wearing gold. but the island proved to be more valuable as a hideout for pirates. Other Europeans were more intrigued with larger. with the agreement that the island would remain duty-free and the residents would never pay taxes. As each group of settlers arrived. The city grew and thrived as a free trade zone. Sweden was back in control when slavery was abolished in 1847. who attacked and took over in 1801-1802. Barts. he wasn’t too interested in a tiny spit of land with no fresh water. King Louis XVI traded the island to King Gustaf III of Sweden for duty-free trading rights at the port in Gothenburg. Sweden agreed to sell St. in the Introduction. Finally. like the Indians before him. With great enthusiasm. within five years. even though they technically owned the place. the hostile Caribs attacked and. and. In 1784. nothing happened. For years. Most residents fled.) Christopher Columbus takes official credit for “discovering” St. figured the place was worthless. a massive hurricane hit in 1852. and put up warehouses and homes around the port. page 25. and the island was sold to the Knights of Malta in 1651.
Residents of Guadeloupe regularly lobby for autonomy. Barts Getting There n By Air Most travelers get to St. Official Business L ike French St. Residents enjoy all the social programs available to French citizens living on the continent. photographs. In addition. Air Caraïbes has service from Guadeloupe. and Saturday 9 am-1 pm. Martin. Admission is $5 and the museum is open Tuesday-Friday. Martin on a connecting flight before taking a 15-minute ride on a regional carrier to St. located in Wall House on Rue Schoelcher at the far end of La Pointe on the south side of Gustavia’s harbor. 8:30 am12:30 pm and 2:30-6 pm. then hop over to St. but French St. St. . Puerto Rico. Barts via St. Barts appear content with their status as French possessions. Barts’ history at the Musée Municipal. Monday. Martin. % 590-29-71-55. Several major airlines have direct flights to Queen Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the Dutch side. Barts is part of the souspréfecture which is overseen by Guadeloupe. Citizens of St. and artifacts from St. Barts.By Air n 221 You can see a collection of documents. You can also take a direct flight to San Juan. 2:30-6 pm. St. a département français d’outremer. Martin and St. but are heavily dependent on France economically and politically. Barts are French nationals and carry passports issued by the European Union. Four elected representatives speak for this overseas department in the French Assemblée Nationale. and two elected senators hold seats in the Sénat.
soars. Since there are no runway lights. The recently-enlarged terminal has car rental booths. supermarket. remember that you must check in and get a boarding pass before you go to the booth to pay your departure tax. just across a narrow road. Martin and go through customs. Tip: Be sure to confirm your return flight well in advance since the small airlines juggle their schedules to meet passenger demand and flight times may change. but unfortunately it’s spoiled by an ugly incinerator . then walk through the courtyard to the departure terminal. Jean Bay on the north coast. Martin for your return flight home. has a pharmacy. and remember that most airlines now require passengers to check in at least three hours prior to departure in order to clear security. You can’t get the tax waiver without a boarding pass. La Savane Commercial Center. and you can’t get into the boarding area without your passport. Barts is a thrill. You get a great low-level view of St. After takeoff out of St. where you will find the check-in counter for all the regional airlines. has one short runway and accepts nothing larger than 20-seat planes. claim your bags. Barts. Flying to St. St. then take it and your passport to the brown booth. and boarding pass. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to St. and a couple of shops.222 n Getting There Tip: After you land on St. and you’ll understand why once you’ve seen the landing approach. Get a boarding pass from the airline taking you to St. near St. your little plane climbs. Martin. Barts as you approach. where you can get a departure tax waiver. Also. Pilots are required to have special training. flights can’t land after dark. Barts’ Airport (SBH). tax waiver. and almost immediately begins its descent. and a bar. a small store.
then plunge below a mountaintop directly onto the landing strip. www.com % 800-525-0280 (US). www. www. Barts Local Airlines & Air Taxis Air Caraïbes St. www. Martin).com % 888-975-7888 (US & Canada). Wow! Pilots perform this magic flawlessly several times a day.klm. you stop. You must phone the airport in St. Martin). not a danger. www. 599-545-3444 (St. www. 599-545-2568 (St. Later. about the time you begin to wonder why you don’t see the airport.com % 800-428-4322 (US). 599-545-2372 (St. Barts). 800-374-7747 (US/ Canada). Martin). you glimpse the tops of cars on the road below as you glide by. Martin).com % 800-221-1122 (US/Canada). the pilot shoves the plane’s nose sharply towards the ground.By Air n 223 plant and junkyard.aircaraibes. 590-27-61-01 (St. Just when you think the plane will hit the ocean at the end of the short runway.continental.com % 590-27-54-54. much too close. Barts). Martin). www. www.delta. Martin at the following numbers for information. 590-82-64-51 (SFG St. fax 590-27-54-58 (St. so the experience is a thrill. www. 599-545-2040 (St.stbarthcommuter.com St. 599-545-2545 (St.ca % 800-237-2747 (US/Canada).com % 800-433-7300 (US/Canada).ca . Barth Commuter Winair % 877-772-1005 (US). 599-545-4212 (St. take a walk along the beach beside the airport and watch this amazing feat from the ground. 599-545-4344 (St. Martin).airfrance. www. Martin).usair. newconcepts.aircanada.com % 599-545-4747 (St. Martin).aa. Martin). Then. International Airlines Air Canada Air France American Airlines/American Eagle Continental Airlines Delta Air Lines KLM US Airways % 888-247-2262 (US & Canada).
Round-trip tickets are available at most hotel reception desks and vacation-rental offices.com The Oyster Line. and restaurants are scattered from one end of the island to the other. 0590-27-5410 (Gustavia). so walking the entire thing is not an option.224 n Getting Around n By Inter-Island Ferry Voyager I and Voyager II. % 0590-27-70-34 Gustavia Express. % 599-544-2640. If you’re an . The other buses head east from Gustavia toward Anse Toiny. Four gray Volkswagon vans travel two established routes between 9 am and 1 am daily. all you need do is request a special pick-up or drop-off. Unlimited daily passes also are available for three days or more for i10 per day. If your destination is not along the designated routes. www.com You can find additional information about inter-island ferry service on page 66. % 590-29-44-19. some restaurants and a few boutiques at a cost of i10 (about $12). Le Shuttle. call the shuttle office. The beaches. % 0590-87-46-13 The Edge. % 590-87-99-03 (Marigot) Rapid Explorer.voyager-st-barths. % 599-542-9762. www. For information or to request a pick up. www. % 590-27-91-79 or 590-690-61-37-07 (cell) for 24/7 pick-up in a high-speed boat. 059-87-10-68 (Marigot).com Marine Service. hotels.stmaartenactivities.rapidexplorer. n Water Taxi Master Ski Pilou. One bus routinely travels west out of Gustavia to Anse des Flamands and along the north coast as far as Anse des Cayes. Getting Around M ore cautious types will like the new minibus service. % 599-542-4096 (Philipsburg).
Daily rates run about $60 per day during high season. All you need to rent is a valid driver’s license and a credit card. You may still be able to find one to rent. Sundays. so nothing very bad can happen. They wait at the airport and harbor side in Gustavia. since it’s impossible to go very far. Otherwise.By Taxi n 225 experienced motor biker. or a daredevil. but you can also request a larger car with automatic transmission and air conditioning. you can contact JC Taxi for tours or transportation in a new 10-passenger van. fax 690-29-27-63 Tip: Taxis are privately owned and do not have meters. and most will agree to drop you at a beach and return for you at an appointed time. Jean (% 590-27-75-81). Weekly rates are a better . there’s very little traffic outside Gustavia. Don’t bother with a four-wheeldrive vehicle. and fares are generally low. so always agree on a rate before you get into the cab. even if you’re just a dayvisitor. n By Rental Car The best way to get around. take to the narrow mountain roads on a motorcycle or scooter. or you can call the offices in either Gustavia (% 590-27-66-31) or St. and after dark. and many people enjoy driving the jeep-like no-doors mini moke. Barts The tiny but chic Smart Car is a popular rental. n By Taxi Taxis are plentiful. the island has no traffic lights. conditions are great: driving is on the right. the speed limit is 28 mph (45 kph). is by rental car. In addition. but both are being phased out. Drivers offer sightseeing tours. The roads are narrow (but in good shape). Drivers are allowed to charge more on holidays. % 690-49-02-97. but drop to around $40 during the off-season. and you will have to tackle steep inclines and sharp curves. TA XI St.
For toll-free numbers and websites. fax 590-27-8393 St. fax 59027-69-32 % 800-472-3325. fax 590-29-60-12 % 800-831-2847. % 590-27-73-33. There is also a 24-hour automatic gas pump at the airport that accepts credit cards. 590-27-71-43.226 n Getting Around deal at approximately $350 in high season. and Sundays. when it’s closed all day. see page 64. Jean Airport. except Thursdays. especially during high season. Gustavia. % 590-27-66-30. It’s open daily. One is across from the airport in St. which at publication time was a bit over $1 per liter (that’s about $3 per gallon). fax 590-27-80-77 St. American Express and Visa Gold Card customers are not covered when they rent a sports car or four-wheel-drive vehicle. You must purchase the card during regular business hours. % 590-29-60-12. Jean Airport. Reserve your rental car in advance. The other gas station is in Lorient. closed Sunday. Decline insurance coverage offered by the rental-car agency only if the credit card you will be using covers you for an accident or damage to the car. % 590-27-62-30. 7:30 am-noon and 2:30-5 pm. St. Gas is priced about like European fuel. when it closes at noon. fax 590-27-83-93. It’s open Monday-Saturday. so you won’t fill up often. % 590-27-50-50. Cars are fuel-efficient. depending on the size and condition of the vehicle. Following are local contact numbers. 7:30 am-5 pm. % 590-27-71-14. since there are only two gas stations on the island. Jean. You can buy a special gas card that will operate the 24-hour automatic pump for about $10. International Car Rental Companies Alamo/National Avis Budget Europcar Hertz St. fax 590-27-90-63 . Jean Airport. St. $245 in low season. Jean Airport. and distances are short. % 590-27-67-43. Jean Airport. which is good.
Jean Airport. Jean Airport. and Tropic’All. Jean Airport. which is included in the rental price. Jean Airport. % 590-27-54-83. fax 590-27-75-57 St. www. % 690-42-28-42. fax 590-27-67-03. and you must hold a valid motorcycle permit or driver’s license. fax 590-29-63-60 St. fax 590-27-65-06 St.sun-loc.com If you do not arrive by plane. n By Scooter or Motorcycle Rates run about $30 per day to rent a motorcycle or scooter and are higher for a Harley. You’ll be required to wear a helmet. and pa- . % 590-27-75-32. % 590-27-64-76. Jean Airport. % 590-27-60-70. % 590-27-73-22. The requirements. % 590-27-70-01.com Gustavia.top-loc. Bart is fabulous. fax 590-27-89-54 St. Barts Motorcycle Rental Dufau (Honda and Peugeot) St. most major and local companies will deliver your rental car to you at the ferry dock or at your hotel. www. % 590-29-02-02. Several car rental companies offer scooters and motorcycles as well. Jean Airport. Jean Airport. St. Unless you’re a citizen of France. including Chez Béranger. % 590-27-73-22. Getting legally married on the island is a French horror story. waiting period. forget about it. Jean. fax 590-27-83-05 Getting Married Y H oneymooning on St.By Scooter or Motorcycle n 227 Local Car Rental Companies Island Tropic’All TopLoc Chez Béranger Gumbs Questel Soleil Caraïbes Maurice Turbe Star Location St. Jean Airport. fax 590-27-78-99 St. % 590-27-89-00. fax 590-27-86-47 St. fax 590-27-80-28 St. fax 590-27-62-55 Gustavia. fax 590-29-03-03. % 590-27-67-18.
on the southeast side of the harbor parking lot. contact The French Government Tourist Office in New York. % 202-659-7779. which change seasonally. Exploring St. Request an English-speaking driver who knows the island well. Barts perwork are just too difficult. She’s an American citizen who lives in the islands and can help you with all the plans. They leave by mini-bus from the pier near the tourist office on Quai du Général de Gaulle. The 90-minute trip is the best deal and covers the most ground. which means you miss the villages of Colombier and Corossol. % 590-29-84-54. Jean and Gustavia. % 590-27-87-27. Barts n Organized Tours The Office du Tourisme (% 590-27-87-27) suggests three sightseeing tours of the island. The shortest tour is a 45-minute ride west of Gustavia with a glimpse of Colombier. and agree on a fee before you start out. well in advance for advice. This one-stop mini-tour is priced at around $25 for up to three people.228 n Exploring St. if you’re determined. or the Office du Tourisme on St. Contact the Office du Tourisme (% 590-27-87-27) for times. Flamands. Then contact Melanie Smith Vitelli. The cost for up to three people is about $45. Jean. fax 590-29-76-04. hits many of the prime sites on both the eastern and western ends of the island and makes three stops. and Public. but skips everything west of St. It takes you over the hill to St. You miss too much with anything shorter. Tip: If you’re going to take the group tour. sign on for the 90-minute route. Barts. You’ll pay about . n Taxi Tours You’ll get more individual attention and be able to make more stops if you take a guided tour with one of the island’s delightful taxi drivers. Corossol. The hour-long tour is the same as the 90-minute trip. It makes two stops and costs approximately $35 for up to three people. But.
The island is not physically gorgeous overall. and you’ll discover incredible vistas and sites along the way. n Independent Touring The very best way to see St. or contact one of the following: n Raymond Gréaux. Check with the Office du Tourisme for a current list of recommended guides. and mouse-size bites all along the edges. as some travel guides would lead you to believe. Gustavia is on the southwest outward curve.C. and be sure you understand his accent. % 590-27-63-75 n Justin Gréaux.Independent Touring n 229 $40-$50 for two people on a two-hour tour. many beautiful places. But.. St. nestled into the northwest inward curve. Make a couple of calls and compare the itineraries before you decide on a guide. anyone who was interested could simply show up at 4 pm to meet J. At that time. and linger as long as you like at outstanding sites. Barts . a puffy middle. Steep. so you can’t drive far without spotting water. you’ll easily find your way again. Barts is no more than two miles across at its widest point and 11 miles long tip-to-tip. if you become hopelessly confused. % 590-27-62-94 On a recent visit. and more during the winter months. but it has many. Friendly locals will point you in the right direction. St. Drivers usually charge less during the off-season. Barts is shaped like a flaky croissant with both ends pointing north. and even ace navigators get lost. a sign posted at the gazebo in the harborside parking lot in Gustavia offered a taxi tour of the island for $10 per person. Barts is on your own. Jean is directly over the hilly mid-section. More than 20 coves and beaches are nibbled into the shoreline. % 590-27-66-32 n Denis Gumbs. stop when something interests you. winding roads criss-cross the entire island. the driver. Set your own pace. St. % 590-27-65-61 n René Bernier. St.
Now. the government charges ships a hefty per-person entrance fee for all tourists coming ashore. Gustavia is seldom overrun by cruise ship passengers. the waterside arm of the “U” is a peninsula that juts out into the sea. % 590-27-87-27. Barts. Standing at the bottom of the “U” and facing the harbor. Barts ORIENTING YOURSELF Picture Gustavia as a squared-off capital “U. Its far tip is known as La Pointe. On your left.230 n Exploring St. location of Wall House and Fort Oscar.” with the top opening facing northwest.” All of the town’s other streets run parallel and perpendicular to these three main roads. For a brief time during the late 1990s. but the resulting commercialism horrified the locals and offended longtime visitors. Rue Jeanne d’Arc parallels the waterside arm. Tip: If you want to avoid the cruiseship passengers that shuttle in from big ships anchored offshore. and Rue du Centenaire connects the two at the bottom of the “U. A Walking Tour of Gustavia Start your tour in the capital and largest town on St. large ships were encouraged to unload the masses. check with the tourist office for a port schedule. the landside ferry dock and tourist office are on your right. Rue de la République runs along the landside arm. so most of the lower-budget ocean liners visit elsewhere. . Unlike most port cities. It’s built around a lovely horseshoe-shaped harbor filled with elegant yachts from around the world.
Most of the town’s original architecture was destroyed during a 1744 British invasion. Everything is laid out on a half-dozen main streets running parallel to the three-sided harbor. 8 am12:30 pm. sidewalk cafés. Nevertheless. The former Swedish governor’s home is now the Mairie.232 n Exploring St. 9-11 am. a couple of historic sites. a few lovely old buildings still stand in the capital. Barts Gustavia Stop at the Office du Tourisme when you come into town to pick up maps and brochures. New structures were built around Le Carénage (as the port was called) and the Swedes added their own styles when they took over in 1785. and Shell Beach. and you can see the green and white maison on Rue Auguste Nejman (also spelled Nyman). Attractive two-story colonial-style buildings line the inland side of the road and house some of the island’s classy boutiques. and you can easily walk to the shops. but most of that was reduced to ashes and rubble by a hurricane and fire in 1852. You can park in the free lot at Quai du Général de Gaulle. then explore on foot. The parking lot and its adjoining gazebo are on tree-lined Rue de la République. and Saturdays. . or town hall. It’s located on the harborfront at Quai du Général de Gaulle and is open Monday-Friday. which is a straight walk inland from the harbor along Rue Couturier.
but the lovely stone tower stands as a reminder of the town’s colonial past. and Saturdays. topped by a bell tower and surrounded by a low rock wall. The Catholic church. Eustatius and France. A large clock has replaced the original bell. which allows the bell to peal more intensely. It was built in 1799 as part of a church on Rue du Presbytère at the southeast end of town. and the church was destroyed long ago. It was built in 1885 with stone from St. % 590-27-89-44. but the picturesque structure is probably the oldest in town. 8 am. The bell Saint-Barthélemew Anglican church tower is detached from and taller than the austere main building. If you want to attend. On Rue du Centenaire. Services are held here every Sunday at 9 am. call to find out which church will be having services. Barts .Independent Touring n 233 The Vieux Clocher (old bell tower) doesn’t have a bell any more. between Rue du Presbytère and Rue de l’Eglise. is even older. % 590-27-61-08. St. a handsome street that runs along the Vieux Clocher harbor’s shortest side. It was built in 1822 in a style similar to the island’s oldest Catholic church in Lorient. Masses are held at either the Lorient or Gustavia church on Sundays. and the elevated bell notified residents as each hour passed throughout the day. 5:30 pm. you’ll find the old Saint-Barthélemew Anglican church.
The ruins of Fort Gustav are scattered next to the weather station and lighthouse (built in 1961) on the hill at the north end of town. and artifacts spanning the island’s French. like the anse of a frying pan. old cannons sit outside. and shells are washing ashore again. Barts St. Fort Karl has long-since disappeared. Anse de Grand Galet (galet is French for pebble). which is closed to the public. you can browse among the photographs. You won’t see much history at Fort Gustav. paintings. British. Follow Rue Jeanne d’Arc away from town to find the beach. Admission is i5 and the museum is open Tuesday-Friday. A panoramic tableau identifies neighbor islands and the main buildings in Gustavia. Director Eddy Galvani has done a terrific job of recreating the island’s past through fascinating displays of ancestral costumes. model Créole homes. and 2:30-6 pm. antique tools. It’s topped by colorful flags. 9 am-1 pm. It also means handle. but you can drive there as you leave Gustavia going toward Public. “Anse” is French for cove or bay. and Saturday. The Swedes built three defensive forts around the harbor. 2:30-6 pm. Monday. There are better places to . and enjoy the glorious view of the town as the sun sets over the ocean. but new sand was brought in to rebuild the beach in the spring of 2000. which made a nasty pass over the island in 1999. is a short walk from Gustavia. stands facing the sea on the far side of La Pointe at the end of Rue Jean Bart. % 590-29-71-55. commonly known as Shell Beach. and Wall House Museum) is located in an old gray-stone warehouse known locally as Wall House on Rue Schoelcher at the far end of La Pointe. and Swedish history. 8:30 am-12:30 pm. ancient maps. caused a lot of damage here. which is covered with thousands of small sea shells brought in by waves. Musée Saint-Barthélemy. Barts Municipal Museum (also called Musée Municipal. Fort Oscar.234 n Exploring St. Visit late in the day. Inside. which is what many deep bays look like. Hurricane Lenny. and traditional fishing boats.
wander along the streets and stop at a few of the town’s many shops. and dinner during high season (call for limited low-season hours). but the shells make a nice surface for strolling and jogging. Jean Bay . They specialize in Brazilian and French food. You can see the islands of St. for restaurant recommendations and Shopping. St. Stop by at the end of the day. and restaurants. A little produce market (ti marché) is set up on Rue du Roi Oscar. right on the beach. Before you leave Gustavia. where ladies from Guadeloupe (locally known as Doudous) sell fruits. lunch. Its spectacular crescent-shaped Baie de Saint-Jean is divided by a cliff supporting Eden Rock Resort and Eden Rock Resort. page 284. If you’ve lingered long enough for happy hour. then have dinner at Dõ Brazil Restaurant. bars. Barts Along the North Coast St. Tip: See Where to Eat. and serve breakfast. Jean is the island’s number two town and its main tourist center. art galleries. for information on stores and galleries. page 253. St. Sunsets are fantastic from Shell Beach. stop for a ti punch at one of the well-known peoplewatching spots such as Le Select or L’Oubli. % 590-29-06-60. Eustatius and Saba in the distance.Independent Touring n 235 sun or swim. vegetables and spices from their fertile island.
Notre Dame de l’Assomption. A favorite pastime is standing on La Tourmente. which is located at the end of the airport’s short runway. glide low overhead. and the only gas station on the island that accepts credit cards. excellent restaurants. resorts. Lorient. lovely homes dot the surrounding hillsides. Jean. Jean from Gustavia. Watersports operators. Barts Music Festival holds annual performances each January and mass is held at 7 pm on Sundays. along with a couple of minimarts. The first French settlement was built here in 1648. is a quiet village full of history. It is a Norman house built in 1610 and brought in pieces to St. Five shopping malls are home to ritzy boutiques. and a petite post office. just east of St. restaurants. and the town has two charming cemeteries decorated with crosses and flowers at each grave. to watch the planes approach. The rustic structure was reconstructed on the island and now serves as the centerpiece for the low-budget hotel near Lorient Beach. Barth boutique. Barts Airport at La Tourmente has a calm reef-sheltered eastern area and a larger western stretch with more surf. the central hill that separates St. It’s also home to the island’s oldest Catholic church. Barthélemy (% 590-27-79-27) on Route de Saline near the Ligne St. and bars line up along the length of the bay. a history of St. Barts in 1984 by Jeanne Audy Rowland. One of the island’s two gas stations is located here. Airplanes take off over the western beach.236 n Exploring St. . then dive below the rise to land. Barts written in French. author of Fils de Vikings (Viking Sons). where St. Look for Le Manoir de St.
and resorts. It winds up the hillsides in this isolated residential area past some of the The Coast Road island’s most beautiful homes. dips. Martin. the main road veers off toward Pointe Milou and Mont Jean and becomes dramatic. located at the bottom of the steep road leading to Pointe Milou. Windsurfers take advantage of the steady breeze. Barth Festival of Caribbean Cinema is held on the tennis courts of the AJOE Surf Club each April. villas. local surfers will be riding the waves offshore. Barts . Anse de Marigot and Anse du Grand Cul-de-Sac are attractive lagoons on the far eastern tip of the north coast.Independent Touring n 237 Just past the most eastern cemetery. The main road climbs. If the conditions are right. The annual St. East of Lorient. swimmers St. and winds through the hills east of the village of Marigot and passes the calm bays. The coast has no beaches and is covered with rocks that are battered by the pounding surf. Overlooks on top of the sheer cliffs offer spectacular views of nearby islets and faraway St. Stop for a drink at the Sofitel Christopher Hotel. The bar sits beside an infinity pool that appears to merge with the sea. a road leads to the long white-sand beach. which are lined with golden sand and surrounded by protective cliffs. Anse de Lorient – popular with surfers.
Anse des Cayes. Barts float in the deep blue placid water. Jean. Watersports operators rent all types of equipment (including the popular kitesurfers) and restaurants. Morne du Vitet is the island’s highest peak at 922 feet. Each is worth a visit. but the hotels have planted palms and bushes along their stretches of beach. Anse des Flamands and Petite Anse line up along the northern shore west of the town of St. Anse des Lézards. and resorts provide all the creature comforts. while swimmers and snorkelers prefer Flamands and Petite Anse. they are separated by rocky outcroppings. Although the beaches are adjacent to one another. Its steep slopes are criss-crossed by low stone walls that once imprisoned sheep and goats. and snorkelers enjoy exploring the close-in reefs. bars. Ile Fourchue This uninhabited island off the western coast is a popular day-trip from St. The terrain in this area is quite arid. Surfers favor Cayes and Lézards. ex- .238 n Exploring St. which prevent you from walking from one to the other. Visitors like to go out to the tiny isle to get away from civilization. Drive up the mountain’s winding narrow road that goes south from Grand Cul-de-Sac for panoramic views of the rugged coastline. Barts. and the resorts’ gardens are colorful and lush.
Bart Marine Reserve. % 590-27-62-25. Forty-two of the 54 coral species known to thrive in the Lesser Antilles grow offshore. Rue Jeanne d’Arc. The entire place is a nature preserve and underwater life is protected by the St. and a vast number of sea creatures live around the reefs. % 590-27-62-38. Either trek will take about 20 to 30 minutes. If you decide to visit. Two hiking paths lead to the secluded beach. snorkeling equipment. Océan Must. West of Gustavia Anse de Colombier is one of the most spectacular sites on the island. Contact the following for information: Marine Service. St. one begins at the top of the hill above the waterfront. the other begins near Petite Anse. and climb to the top of the hills for extraordinary views. northwest of Anse des Flamands. so plan accordingly.Independent Touring n 239 plore the rocky desert-like terrain. near Wall House. Barts . Gustavia. Beware of seasickness if the ocean is rough or you’re prone to that type of malady. Gustavia. Expect to pay about $100 per person for a scheduled day cruise. open bar. Gustavia. Quai du Yacht Club. La Pointe. and there’s no shade. on the Atlantic coast. Yacht Charter Agency. and a gourmet lunch with wine. you’ll have only wild goats for company. and the only way to get there is by boat or on foot. % 590-2770-34.
and a real challenge for anyone in less than top physical shape. It’s nothing more than an old goat path at the end of the paved road from Flamands that goes all the way to the west end of the island. If you can make it down. thus less slipping. Steps lead down to Anse du Colombier. You won’t have much climbing. There’s no shade and no facilities once you reach the sand at Anse de Colombier. You can drive to the village of Colombier on a very steep paved road that begins in the center of the little village of Flamands. a few shops. and several points along the rocky. a school. since you’ll have better traction. rocky. winding trail have spectacular views. Visit for the dramatic views of Anse Colombier and Anse des Flamands. The path from Petite Anse is lovely and less taxing. then curves southward. And don’t expect to be alone. on the south coast west of Gustavia. the long crescent-shaped beach has deep white sand and a view of St. you’ll find it less difficult going back up. Private yachts and tour boats from Gustavia stop here.240 n Exploring St. The water is usually calm and ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Colombier is nothing more than a small village with a chapel built in 1918. Martin. Martin in the distance. and hillside homes for about 300 residents. since there are only gradual changes in elevation. is a traditional fishing village with fewer than 300 residents living in colorful houses topped by orange-red roofs.) The trail is steep. (An orientation tableau points out little nearby isles and St. Barts The hilltop path starts near a rock lookout point in a parking lot at the end of a paved road west of the tiny village of Colombier. Corossol. No matter which trail you take. wear closed-toe shoes and bring water. Some of the local women still weave hats and baskets from the leaves of palm trees and . and you will probably not be the only one to hike in. lined with cactus.
Independent Touring n 241 sell them from their little wooden cottages. % 590-27-62-97. 9 am-12:30 pm and 2-5 pm. including 1. Barts are either les cases à vent (wind houses). Barts Cases Créoles in Gustavia Along the Southeastern Coast The beaches at this end of the island are fabulous. which are built to withstand hurricane-force gales. The Inter-Ocean Museum displays 9. Ingénu Magras owns the private collection and welcomes visitors Tuesday-Sunday. which are called cases (say caz).600 from the Caribbean. which are constructed to provide shade and ventilation. Admission is $5 for adults. Brightly painted fishing boats float on the calm turquoise waters of Anse de Corossol. Anse du Gouverneur is a long. Both types have freestanding kitchens so heat from cooking won’t come into the living areas and an accidental fire won’t burn down the entire home. Nearby. but not good for swimming. and lobster traps lie along the beigesand beach. St. uncrowded. Traditional houses on St. or les cases Créoles (Créole houses). U-shaped beach at the bottom of an exhilarating mountain road that leads .000 seashells from around the world.
Park near the salt pond and walk up the rough trail that leads to a sand dune. following the signs for Grande Saline. where you’ll have an awesome view of the sea and Anse de Grande Saline. Since there are no facilities. Wouldn’t hurt to bring a metal detector. Barts’ craggy. Visit for the breathtaking views and rustic tranquility. but there are no facilities. You’ll pass the old salt pond. Snorkeling is good around the cliffs at each end. deep. and little shade. and white. which makes for good snorkeling. . rocky cliffs on each end draw a variety of fish. You’ll probably be entertained by experienced surfers riding the waves. The sand is wide. you won’t have to share your space with a crowd. Anse de Grande Saline is as lovely as Gouverneur and popular with locals as well as tourists. Steep cliffs surround both coral beaches and the currents and waves are often too rough for swimmers. just a few nude sunbathers. Looking down on Anse du Gouverneur Go back to the main road and head east. The white-sand beach is long. wild southern coast. It’s rumored that the pirate known as Montbars the Exterminator buried treasure here and never returned for it. Anse à Toiny and Anse Grand Fond are part of St. which is now a huge murky basin surrounded by a mangrove swamp that attracts a lot of tropical birds.242 n Exploring St. and there’s just enough surf to make things interesting. Barts from the small residential village of Lurin.
boaters. Get there on foot by following a path from the beach at Grand Fond. Local surfers favor this secret spot Anse à Toiny because the swirling agitation caused by seawater pouring into the basin creates impressive breakers. It’s perfect for beach bums who want to get away from it all. about a 10-minute walk. so their waters are typically calm. Barts has 22 beaches. especially on weekdays. Some of the windward beaches are protected by hills or reefs. Even the mathematically challenged can understand that this is an amazing number for an eight-squaremile island. Barts . so not a good place for swimming. which provide some shade. Sunset watchers. St. Adventures on Water n Best Beaches The folks who do the official counting say St. Explore the little caves among the boulders. 15 are suitable for swimming. Anse du Petit Cul-de-Sac is lined with seagrape trees. In the Caribbean. trade winds blow from east to west and on St. and you’ll probably have the whole place to yourself. so their waters are still ideal for swimming. The leeward beaches are protected by the island itself. even though the wind is strong enough for windsurfing. and those on the western leeward side (côte sous le vent). but the views are nice. Barts the beaches are divided into those on the eastern windward side (côte au vent). The shore is rocky. and has no development.Best Beaches n 243 The Washing Machine is a natural pool hidden in the hills.
The currents are too strong for swimming. remote part of the island. . which beaches are best? That depends on your intent. and seashells frustrate swimmers and watersports enthusiasts. Anse Toiny is for the experienced surfer and beach stroller. All beaches are public and free. Grand Cul-de-Sac has a watersports outfitter (Wind Wave Power. pebbles. We haven’t heard of officials hassling anyone for being naked on a public beach here. Nice resorts open directly onto the sand. Best Beaches on the Windward Side St. You can find some natural shade or rent an umbrella. % 590-27-82-57) and several places to eat.244 n Adventures on Water and strollers gravitate toward secluded coves where boulders. but you’ll love this wild. Jean. so best stick to remote spots if you want to strip bare. The water is typically calm enough for swimming. Jean Beach is extremely popular and offers watersports (Eden Rock Sea Sport Club. and several bars and restaurants. but it could happen. The nearby village has restaurants and shops. but families with kids find calm swimming conditions west of mid-beach. The long stretch of sand is narrow and protected by an offshore reef. and some are known as popular spots for naturalists. but topless swimming and sunbathing is common on all of them. Lorient Beach is long and wide and offers some shade. None are officially nude. You’ll have less company here than at St. even if a resort is hogging most of the sand. So. and the wind blows strongly enough for windsurfing on the east side of Eden Rock Resort. Surfers with their own equipment gather at the eastern end. % 590-27-74-77).
The only drawback is the lack of shade. and snorkeling. One begins from a parking lot at the end of the main road that cuts through the village of Colombier. Best Beaches on the Leeward Side Anse du Gouverneur has tons of great sand. Bring sunblock or an umbrella because there’s no natural shade. The water is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. but it’s just as likely you’ll have the whole place to yourself. the other leaves from Petite Anse. swimming. You may have a lot of company. Two old goat paths lead to the gorgeous sand surrounded by green hills. at the end of the paved road from Flamands. St. since you’ll want to stay awhile. which doesn’t seem to bother the nude sunbathers. Bring drinks and snacks.Best Beaches n 245 Anse de Grande Saline is dazzling. . Barts Anse de Colombier (Don Wiss) Anse de Colombier is a fabulous off-the-beaten-track beach that can be reached only by boat or on foot. The trail from Petite Anse is less difficult. calm water. Do not miss its unspoiled grandeur. and no facilities. It’s perfect for lounging.
. Tour costs are in the $45-$75 range. depending on the length of the trip. Palms provide shade for afternoon naps. to the gorgeous turquoise water. Park in the lot beside the Grande Saline salt pond (a smelly. and sometimes the waves kick up enough for body surfing. Jet skis rent for about $40 per half-hour. is straight out from the white sand beach. Tip: Marigot Bay and Petit Cul de Sac. over a rocky rise and a sand dune.246 n Adventures on Water Anse des Flamands (Don Wiss) Anse des Flamands is a long. lovely beach with fine sand. both on the northeast side. n Jet Skiing & Water-Skiing The following organize Jet Ski tours of the coast and rent equipment to individuals. Ile Chevreaux. marshy place favored by tropical birds) and walk down a dirt road. a small offshore isle. wide. Master Ski Pilou and Marine Services also offer waterskiing trips priced in the $50 range. are less-visited small beaches that are favored by locals.
fax 590-27-70-36. % 590-2770-34. left. com . Quai du Yacht Club. www. cell 690-61-80-81. % 590-2791-79. Gustavia. Grand Cul-deSac. Jean. Gustavia. Jean Beach. or Grand Cul-de-Sac. St. Pointe Milou. St. cell 690-27-38-33 Wind Wave Power. fax 590-27-72-76 Marine Service. % 590-27-82-57. Master Ski Pilou. all the surfer dudes head for Lorient. right (Don Wiss) Use of motorized watersports equipment is prohibited within 300 yards of the shore. Ask for Stéphan Jouany. and La Petite Anse. Carl Gustaf Resort. St. fax 590-27-87-18. Rent a board from one of the following outfitters for about $20 per hour. Toiny. Saint-Barth Beach Hotel. % 590-27-7122. an expert water-skier. Carib Water Play. Barts n Surfing & Kiteboarding When the surf’s up.Surfing & Kiteboarding n 247 Anse des Flamands.caribwaterplay.
Pointe Milou. We found full-day cruises running about $100 per person. If you don’t own your own boat. kiteschool. or join a scheduled sightseeing/snorkeling/sunset cruise. so check with a couple of companies listed below to compare your options. Flamands. including the Saint-Barth Regatta in February. 690-59-01-51 (cell). St. including snorkeling. La Pointe. Contact the Office du Tourisme. % 590-59027-52-06 Océan Must. % 690-69-03-90. www. Grand Cul-deSac. and the International Regatta in May. Rue Jeanne d’Arc. Gustavia. % 590-27-87-27. % 590-27-62-25. % 590-27-56-50. St. and Corossol to reel in tuna. lunch. or the Saint Barth Yacht Club. Saint-Barth Beach Hotel. open bar. Quai du Yacht Club. and wahoo. fax 590-27-56-52 Caraïbes Yachting. % 590-27-94-64 Kite School. % 590-27-70-41. 590-2795-17 Yannis Marine. % 590-2770-34. Rue Jeanne d’Arc. Marine Service. Eden Rock Resort. and included extras. Jean. bonito. Several local big-game anglers . www. Gustavia. and two beach stops. fax 590-27-88-37 Wind Wave Power. barracuda. fax 590-27-70-36 Nautica. Rue de la République. Several boating events take place on the island each year. Jean Beach. Gustavia. fax 590-27-72-76 Surf Life Creation.yannismarine. % 590-29-8912.net n Boating St.248 n Adventures on Water Sea Sports Club. Barts is a yacht haven. % 590-27-82-57. Gustavia. marlin. length of trip. the SaintBarth’s Cup in April. rent one for the day or week. for exact dates and information.com n Deep-Sea Fishing Anglers head to the waters off Lorient. % 590-27-7477. Gustavia. Prices vary according the type of boat.
size of the boat. Ocean Must. Their expertise ranges from instructing new students to leading experienced divers on personalized trips to the most challenging sites. is another major dive operation in Gustavia. 690-59-01-51 (cell).yannismarine. and Vincent. sea cucumbers and eels live on the reefs along with turtles. Give them a call at the office on La Pointe in the capital (the phone is answered 24 hours a day). 10:30 am. fax 590-27-70-36 Capitaine Patrick La Place. Most of the reefs are in fairly shallow water and offer good visibility. Plongée Caraïbes is run by Marion. but the prices vary widely depending on the number in your group. Barts . Gustavia. Anemones. Most guides take divers to sites near Gustavia where caves and a wreck provide interesting swim-throughs. They dive St. and 2:30 pm. % 590-27-61-76. and drinks supplied.com Adventures Underwater he ocean surrounding St. Costs are about $450 per day or $300 per half-day for a group of four. and type of gear. La Pointe. La Bulle. three of the friendliest scuba guides on the island. Franck. Costs range from $60 for a one-tank dive to $100 for a twotank dive. % 590-27-62-25 or 590-27-68-93. food. Quai du Yacht Club.Deep-Sea Fishing n 249 will take your party out on a private excursion or hook you up with another group. 690-59-15-87 (cell) Yannis Marine. Barts is full of marine life and pristine coral reefs protected as a marine park since 1996. fax 59027-95-17 Marine Service. Gustavia. Multi-day packages are also available. which is associated with Ocean Must. % 590-27-62-25. T Contact one of the following dive operators to schedule a scuba trip. Laurence and Fred are PADI-certified instructor/guides who take divers out at 8:30 am. conch and many species of tropical fish. www. % 590-29-8912. urchins. Rue Jeanne d’Arc. Gustavia. % 590-2770-34.
Barth Plongée. In addition. Look for their boat at Sereno Beach Hotel or call to reserve your spot on one of the scheduled daily dives. For variety. which is what Caribbean natives called St. lowpollution. Over the years. www. high-horsepower engines. Catch up with Birdy on the Rue de la République side of the bay. % 590-27-88-18. % 690-63-74-34 (cell). is run by the spirited Bertrand Caizergues. they have skippers available for pri- . Only eight divers are allowed per trip. Splash schedules three daily dive trips and a night dive for small groups. plongee-caraibes. St. There’s even a toilet and hot-water shower. They offer PADI and ANMP certification and a whole range of organized underwater excursions. the bilingual staff can guide you on underwater scooter trips and take you kite surfing. Look for them near the tourist office at the harbor in Gustavia or contact them at % 690-54-66-14 (cell). Barts before Colombus renamed it in honor of his brother Bartoloméo in 1493. If you’re staying in the Grand Cul-de-Sac area (or want to dive from there). An onboard compressor allows the crew to refill tanks without returning to the dock. or set up a dive by phone. fax 590-27-55-94. he’s taken many satisfied visitors to glorious dive sites in his 28-foot customized boat that’s powered by quiet. Call for additional diving information. and all equipment is top-of-the-line. Today.com St. better known as Birdy. The boat goes out at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm daily and every Thursday at 6:30 pm for a night dive. easy-in/easy-out water access. and shade for those who want it.250 n Adventures Underwater from a huge 46-foot customized catamaran that allows plenty of room. % 590-27-54-44. including drift and night dives. at the port in Gustavia. call Mermaid Diving Center at the Sereno Beach Hotel. Barths’ Marine Reserve on October 10. the name serves this dive company well. Ouanalao Dive gets its name from an ancient Arawak word meaning pelican. 1996. Barts joined other Caribbean islands in an attempt to protect their marine resources by creating the St. % 590-27-61-37.
% 590-27-80-72 or 690-62-99-30 (cell).gp. They’ll even throw in a gourmet picnic on a secluded island. even if you don’t know anything about riding.and CMAS-certified center for private-lesson rates and customized packages. but there are no high mountains to climb. if you want. Barts is hilly. If you want to trek over some interesting terrain to get to a secluded beach. Barts . fax 590-5205-58. You’ll see the path at the east end of the beach and follow it past the surfers’ favored spot. until the trail becomes overgrown as it goes uphill. Flamands. Ranch des Flamands. Adventures on Land n Horseback Riding Seeing the island on horseback is fun.splash. Contact their PADI. check with the tourist office (% 590-27-87-27) on the Gustavia harbor for trail suggestions. Le Chemin Douanier (the customs officer’s road) is one of the most popular routes. Count on about 45 minutes to walk the path one-way without St. It begins on the pebbly beach at Anse de Grand Fond on the southeast coast and continues into the surrounding hills. Washing Machine. If you’re in relatively good physical shape. Main Road. www.Horseback Riding n 251 vate charters and can include just about any type of watersports equipment. so most hiking is moderately strenuous. located on a hill above Anse des Flamands beach. organizes two-hour beach and countryside rides each morning at nine o’clock and every afternoon at three o’clock for novice and experienced riders. such as jet skis and underwater scooters. % 690-56-90-24 or 690-54-75-98. n Hiking Most of St. you will enjoy walking along the sandy beaches and hiking the trails that cut across the island’s interior countryside. Laure Nicolas at Ranch des Flamands. The cost is $35 per person.
The walk to Colombier Beach is spectacular. There are two paths. Resorts with courts include Hotel St. on the main road in Lurin. See Where to Stay. so allow an additional two or three hours for exploring and resting. n Tennis Tennis buffs will want to stay at one of the resorts with courts. for information and contact numbers for the resorts. Barth Isle de France. Grand Cul-de-Sac. Hotel Guanahani. You’ll probably want to take breaks in the most scenic areas. offers temporary memberships for i22 per day and i78 for a five-day package. Tennis Club du Flamboyant. glasswalled building. and Hotel Manapany. page 263. you can run on the track and use the 22 cardiovascular machines and 40 weight machines. Personal trainers also are available for private instruction at an additional fee. or take an aerobics class. % 590-2769-82 AJOE Tennis Club. but if you just want to play a couple of times during your vacation. See directions for both routes in the listing for Anse de Colombier on page 245. Once inside the two-story. air-conditioned. try the following: Forma Form Fitness. but for a full workout or top-of-the-line beauty treatments. The following tennis clubs welcome visitors and have lighted courts for night play. Breakfast and lunch are of- . Colombier.252 n Adventures on Land stopping. one from the end of the road that cuts through the village of Colombier and one from the end of the road that goes through the hamlet of Flamands. you can pay a guest fee and play at one of the island’s tennis clubs. Orient. % 590-27-67-63 ASCCO. % 590-27-61-07 n Exercise Facilities & Spas Many resorts offer some type of gym equipment and basic massage/facial services.
Jean also has its share of treasures. with most opening from 8 am until noon. the boutiques are upscale and carry top-quality goods. % 590-27-51-23. Rue de la République. Store hours on St. and some reduce their hours during low season and close for several weeks during the late summer. You can watch the artist as she crafts unusually shaped rings. Barts. Most shops are closed all day Sunday. so we’ve sorted through the offerings and present our personal favorites below.Top Shops n 253 fered in the small outside café. Barts n Top Shops Jewelry Fabienne Miot. Gustavia. As with everything else on the island. Since there are more than 200 retail shops on St. Barts has many lovely shops. but St. and gold. Shopping A rdent shoppers will want to stop in Marigot or Philipsburg on St. Barts are similar to those in France. The center is open MondaySaturday 7:30 am-8 pm. but St. St. Sunday 9 am-noon. % 590-27-73-13 Stop in to see Fabienne’s fabulous creations. Call the stores directly to check their hours. you probably won’t get to all of them. her limited-edition 18-karat gold Medallion of St-Barts. and necklaces from pearls. including the ultimate souvenir. closing during midday for a leisurely déjeuner. Most of the best stores are located in Gustavia along Rue du Général de Gaulle and Rue de la République. then reopening from 2 until 6 pm. bracelets. The shop also carries individually . precious stones. Martin for the best variety of duty-free merchandise.
It houses some of the wellknown designer boutiques such as Cartier. Corum. Rue de la France. and. hot sellers. . 12 Rue du Général de Gaulle. Dimodolo. Tag Heuer. if you decide to buy. and Ikepod. Hermès. Rado. the store holds good sales. as well as high-fashion watches. but the shop also sells a huge assortment of watches by international companies such as Jaeger Lecoultre. Goldfinger. and Corum. stop by this shop in the Carre d’Or shopping plaza across from the harbor to see the collection of stretch 18K gold bracelets. Torrente. % 590-27-64-66 The first floor is full of fabulous Roberto Coin. but you can also find some well-priced pieces. % 590-27-9053 Even if you don’t buy anything. You could spend hours admiring all the lovely goods here. and Baraka jewelry. and Polo. Donna del Sol. jewelry is made right on the premises at Diamond Genesis. you’ll pay about 20% less than retail in the US. and you could save even more. such as Gucci. . There’s a little bit of everything here. Gustavia. Rue de la République. including big-dollar European-style necklaces and rings. Diamond Genesis. Diamonds are. Gustavia. The second floor is laid out in luxury crystal and porcelain. % 590-2766-94 As at Fabienne Miot’s shop. During the offand shoulder-season.Le Carré d’Or (Gold Square) is a multi-level complex on Rue de la République across from the harbor in Gustavia.254 n Shopping selected pieces by French designer Alain Roure and American artisans Michael Good and Kabana. of course. Each bracelet is made up of three to six rows of thin flexible gold set with diamonds and other precious or semi-precious stones.
Gustavia. Rue de la République. Each of the oils is named for a place on St. Jean. Barts . and exfoliating glove are touted as a beauty cocktail for the skin. You can visit the store on Route de Saline to purchase skin creams.. You will find the products at various boutiques throughout the island.. you’re sure to find your favorites. body lotions. Used together. and today the family formulates and manufactures beauty products in the village of Lorient for international distribution. phone the headquarters in Petit Cul-de-Sac. Their ancestors came to St. Perfume & Cosmetics Privilège. and bath oils. Valmont. % 590-27-72-08 These sister stores stock so many brand name cosmetics and perfumes. To pamper your skin while you’re on the island. St. which contain a form of vitamin A that stimulates melanin to accelerate tanning. Barts from France in the 1600s.. the soaps. Calvin Klein. Bring an extra bag to tote home your tax-free Chanel. Lorient. Barth. % 590-27-55-23. Barts – Colombier. and Chauvette – and make a nice souvenir of your vacation. Christian Dior. which are sold at Boutique Calypso St-Barth stores. Clarins. the renowned skin care company whose products are used by women throughout the world. The products are custom-designed by Helene Muntal from natural ingredients according to traditional Mediterranean formulas. % 590-27-67-43. sun screens. Skin Care The Brins family owns and operates Ligne St. consider using their sun screen made from ground roucou seeds. For more information. oils. Les Galeries du Commerce.Top Shops n 255 BEAUTY COCKTAIL New Yorkers may know about a line of products called Belou’s P. In addition St. Hermès.
Villa Créole. St. % 590-27-59-06. % 59027-57-50 Wonderful accessories make this clothing store unique. % 590-27-78-04. www. % 590-29-84-05 If you’re looking for stunning lingerie or a sexy swimsuit. It’s located next to the popular beach. . Pati de Saint Barth. Rue du Général de Gaulle. Villa Créole. patidestbarth. St. Les Galeries du Commerce is on the main road between the airport and St. designed by artist and shop owner Pati Guyot. % 590-27-82-63. the product contains micro-fine zinc oxide to protect your skin from the intense Caribbean sun. St.lignestbarth. and colorful jewelry. Barth” logos. Barts evening. Jean. The shops are full of items displaying the popular “St Barth French West Indies” and “Pati de St. Jean Beach. Jean’s main road east of Eden Rock Resort. provocative creations from international designers such as Andrés Sardá (Spain).com. so stop in to browse through the hats. Villa Créole is on St. It’s full of fabulous. this is the store. Naory (Italy) and Verde Veronica (Italy). Terra St. Barths. www. Clothing Iléna. bags. Jean. in the direction of Grande Saline. For more information. Gustavia.com. La Savanne is a small complex across the main road from the airport. The lightweight shawls are perfect for throwing over your shoulders on a balmy St. Their other products are great island-made gifts for the folks back home.256 n Shopping to this ingredient that was first used by the island’s Indian inhabitants. Jean Beach.
who can walk away from knock-off versions of Prada. but. St. Human Steps. Laurent Eiffel. St.com Both men and women can pick up the latest styles of their favorite shoes here. Jean. Look for it on La Pointe one block south and one block east of Wall House on Rue Shoelcher % 590-27-68-12. Gustavia. Sergio Rossi. Even if you’re suave enough to discern the difference. head over to the KiWi StTropez shop in St. Charles Jourdan. whatever you call it. Villa Créole. or need a new one. % 59027-82-69 Faux is a far more civilized word than fake. Gustavia. Jean (in the Villa Créole. and children.human-steps. Miu Miu. % 590-27-57-08). Rue du Général de Gaulle. % 590-52-04-03. pastel men’s shirts. it’s done oh so well at this sophisticated shop. 5 Rue du Bord de Mer. and Paul Smith. www. but there’s no rule that prohibits them from wearing these soft. a line of comfy fashionable shoes sold in her Paradoxe store. Gustavia. et cetera at a fraction of the cost of the real thing? Blue Coast. Robert Clergerie. % 590-27-84-98 Catherine is the footloose talent behind Shoe Bizz women’s shoes. Gucci. Styles change several times each year. and you’ll find good sale prices during the off season. Hermès.Top Shops n 257 Saint-Barth Stock Exchange is a consignment store that sells clothing for men. If you forgot your swimsuit. women. Paradoxe St Barth. % 590-29-60-18 Owner Marine has filled her little shop with shirts made of fine Irish linen and available in 20 tropical colors. Rue de la France. Women have limited selection here. Look for name brands such as Prada. Barts .
but in the little town of Marigot.258 n Shopping Liquor & Wine Bacchus Boutique. but don’t come on Sunday or Monday (closed) or during the twohour lunch break from noon until 2 pm. They offer about 400. Rue du Général de Gaulle. Australian. % 590-27-64-66 (see Jewelry. replicas. It’s the exclusive distributor of Laurent Perrier Champagnes and wine produced by Bouchard Père et Fils Burgundy. Bacchus is a well-known name among wine connoisseurs. you’ll find antiques. from simple table varieties to distinguished vintages. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices. Chilean. isn’t in Gustavia. Gifts & Home Decor The House. It has 300 varieties of French wine among its 250. Call ahead for directions. only better. Gustavia. Whatever your style. Gustavia. knowledgeable and eager to help you select the proper bottle for any meal or occasion. Goldfinger. Marigot. and Spanish wines. Barts (and probably the largest anywhere in the Caribbean). Martin and Anguilla (called Vinissimo). Rue du Bord de Mer. but also stocks an impressive list of Italian. Everything is paired up and arranged so that you can see how each piece of furniture and accent object works in a room. and exquisite accent pieces to carry back to your own house. Gustavia. The wine waiters are friendly. Tuesday-Saturday.000-square-foot climate-controlled area. Rue de la France. .000 bottles stored in a 6. % 590-27-88-04 Walking through the door of this fabulously decorated showroom is like visiting a luxurious private home. page 254).000 bottles of wine. Le Goût du Vin. La Cave de Saint Barthélemy. % 590-27-8802 Residents have become accustomed to shopping at this wine and spirit store over the past few years. Drop by when you tour the island. % 59027-74-48 With sister shops in St. % 590-27-63-21 The largest (in area) wine cellar on St. just ask one of the amicable sales staff for help. Prices range from $5 to $700 per bottle. Rue du Roi Oscar II.
stocks a wide variety of English-language books. St. . Carré d’Or. whether you’re ill or just hoping to block the damaging rays of the Caribbean sun. % 590-27-68-20. jewelry.funny-face-books. Villa Créole. above Black Swan and Chopard Boutiques. You will feel free to browse as long as you want and can also enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.com Look for this fine shop on the upper level of this luxury shopping center. Gustavia. www. and paintings. Rue de la République. % 590-27-56-57 You can’t walk past this red-roofed shop in St. Stop in before you hit the beach. Susan Irace. Barth. and beauty potions. Barts Groceries Match Supermarché. % 590-27-61-82 Conveniently located diagonally across from the ferry dock. St. The friendly staff will help you find exactly what you need. Magazines & Newspapers Funny Face Books. Barth. Barth. along with magazines and newspapers from the US and Britain. over-the-counter cures.” sunglasses. and buy a few Made in St-Barth logo T-shirts for friends back home. Tip: Drugstore des Caribees is not a pharmacy. % 590-29-60-14.Top Shops n 259 Made in St. La Savane. Check out the selection of unique note cards and stationery before you leave. Books. % 590-27-68-16 Health Products Pharmacie St. St. Jean. Jean. Gustavia. swimsuits and more. The well-stocked shop at Villa Créole in St. Jean offers sunscreen lotions by “Ligne St. herbs. The owner. Pick up a straw hat made by the women who live in the little village of Corossol. this drugstore carries all sorts of medicines. Jean without looking through the window and being drawn into the wonderland of handmade crafts.
% 590-29-8491. Art The Caribbean can make an artist out of almost anyone. % 590-27-86-67 Les Artisans. Jean. by Paul roam with camera in hand and Elliott Thuleau create your own masterpieces. Rue de la Paix. Artist and jeweler. Various artists. If you’re an artist or photographer yourself.260 n Shopping Tip: You will also find a pharmacy in St. Gustavia. Villa Créole. Gustavia.com Galerie Christian Mas. Rue de la République. % 590.thuleau. Paul Elliott Thuleau. Jane Fabas. Carré d’Or Complex. Rue du Roi Oscar II. % 590-27-66-61. % 590-27-50-40 Galerie Sur Le Port. set up an easel or Table-à-l’Ombre. Gustavia. and St. Rue Jeanne d’Arc. Rue du Centenaire. Barts draws new talent every year. Artist.27-50-45 . www. Artist. across from the airport. Many display and sell their art from their home studios or one of the island’s galleries. Look for the following galleries and home studios as you tour the island: L’Atelier de Peinture. % 590-27-51-33. Alain le Chatelier. % 59052-93-66 Cargo. Barts’ enchanting light and inspiring turquoise sea. It’s not unusual to see professional and amateur painters and photographers here and there taking advantage of St. St. Gustavia. on the main road. Jean. It’s impossible to name all the current artists and locations where you can see their work because new names are added constantly while others move on. Gustavia.
% 690-58-78-98. Barts right. Le Carré d’Or. Main Road. as well as pool and garden maintenance. Petit Cul-de-Sac. Barts has about 400 rentals. and St. you won’t have any problem finding a place. Rue de la République. Wee St. the most divine abodes are quite pricey.Private Villas n 261 L’Espace 21. % 590-52-02-57 Louis Ledée. Jean. Barts . Artist. If you decide that villa life is for you. Gustavia. Carré d’Or Complex. St. and you can find exquisite places that are just a bit of a splurge. although most have a private pool. Carénage. Art Galerie. Résidence Sea Horse. % 690-46-66-56 (cell) Bhagdad Gallery. Gustavia. Many rentals include daily maid service. % 590-27-88-41 Hannah Moser. % 590-27-75-67 Robert Danet. You can even arrange for a local chef to create scrumptious meals right in your own kitchen. % 590-27-57-01 To B. % 590-27-78-71 Chez Pompi. Petit Cul-de-Sac. La Savane. Rue du Général de Gaulle. Of course. Call for an appontment to view works by various artists. especially if you share the space and cost with friends. rent a private villa. Marigot. The biggest drawback is that few villas are on a beach.) The best amenity is total privacy. Kay Quattrochi. % 590-27-50-40 Eve Ducharme. Loulou Magras. (Try Cordon Bleu. St. % 590-27-66-05 Where to Stay n Private Villas If you really want to do St. All the celebrities do. but you can save a little by preparing your own meals and having happy hour on the terrace. % 590-27-75-67 Cecile Robinet. Jean. Main Road. Artist. Pompi. Gustavia. Artist.
this rental agency handles hundreds of private villas on all the French Caribbean islands.. offer a long list of private villas and luxury hotels in partnership with their on-island affiliate.000 per week and a super-luxurious three-or-more-bedroom to top out at around $26. A year is not too early to make reservations. WIMCO % 800-449-1553. www.000 per week per bedroom during high season and about $2. Whether you’re reserving a villa or resort room. you’ll find many choices that average $4. www. based in Newport. Barth Properties % 800-421-3396 or 508-527-7727 (US).wimco. six months is probably too late. www. Between these extremes. Rental Agencies . Barts). www.net. .com WIMCO.000 per week.. Barts. 590-29-75-05 (St.I.stbarth. French Caribbean International % 800-322-2223.500 per week per bedroom during low season.com AUTHOR’S American owner Peg Walsh and her staff personCHOICE ally inspect all the villas and preferred hotels that they represent on St. Sibarth Real Estate..com Based in California. R.frenchcaribbean.262 n Where to Stay most have more than one bedroom. % 590-29-88-90. Stop by the office at Espace du Centenaire in Gustavia or call the US office for a list of properties. be aware that everything books up early for the Christmas season.sibarth. the staff has first-hand experience and contact with the island’s best hotels. In addition. Expect a just-ok one-bedroom to run about $1.St.
fax 590-27-56-52. You’ll .com Director Patrick Catalan operates out of an office above the Cartier jewelry store in Gustavia. don’t expect the same level of prestige service offered by villa-only agencies.) The island has a handful of hotels offering less expensive rooms.com This local real estate agency also handles vacation rentals. www. fax 590-27-87-67. Gustavia % 590-27-94-86. He and his staff manage properties for absent owners and arrange a variety of services for their villa renters. Barts n Resorts & Hotels St.icietlavillas.I. This local agency is small enough to offer individual services on villas of all sizes. www. But.P Rue de la République. (The largest hotel on the island. has 75 rooms.Ici et La % 590-27-78-78. St. Hotel Guanahani.com V.I.P. Island-based real estate agencies may have smaller (less expensive) homes in their rental inventory. but don’t expect inexpensive accommodations. Gustavia % 590-27-81-14. Barts has some of the most stunning resorts in all of the Caribbean. New Agency Quai de la République. Owners Cécile and Serge Marfoutine are long-time island residents and enjoy advising visitors about villa rentals and sales. which may work better for you if you want to save money or rent for the season rather than the week. You won’t find high-rise compounds with glitzy casinos and non-stop activities.st-barth-vip. www.newagency. Contact several companies to compare their offerings before you decide. Saint Barth V. you will be nestled into a petit retreat with a dozen or so rooms. stands for Villas in Paradise.Resorts & Hotels n 263 . fax 590-27-78-28. Rather.
a hotel must have at least seven rooms to earn two stars and a minimum of 10 rooms to earn three stars. a room meant for two people must have at least 100 square feet. Barts. Depending on things such as number and size of rooms. In addition. All prices are given in US dollars. Barts. n The French Star System If you’re not French. really. The island is Frenchly blunt about its desire to keep out the undesirable and locals have no plans to compromise their standards in order to draw more tourists. Most hotels do not add service charges and there is no hotel tax on St. go for it. We’ve checked out a variety of accommodations to come up with the following list of recommendations. In a three-star facility. the property is assigned from zero to four stars.com) so we can warn others. but we feel safe in saying that you won’t find a bad room on St. As an example. please tell us about it (email@example.com n Where to Stay pay about $300 per room per night during “the season” For a double room for two (mid-December through midApril) and a bit more than $ under $100 half that during the summer $$ $100-$200 and fall. If you have a bad experience. If you uncover a bargain. is that the French hotel rating technique is all about quantity and nothing at all about quality. And what . All you need to know. and even if you are. HOTEL PRICE CHART The price scale above indicates rates charged per night for a standard double room with two adults during high season. you $$$ $201-$300 get personal attention and $$$$ over $300 chic surroundings. For this amount. you probably don’t understand the hotel star-rating system used in France. There’s no wiggle room. a double room must measure no less than 90 square feet in a two-star hotel. The government uses a 22-point list to assess the presence or absence of specific features in hotels within France and its foreign territories.
Then. but remember that the island will be very quiet and you will have limited services. restaurants. The author has also given stars (. Martin have been assigned stars by the French government. e-mail or call the hotel directly and ask specific questions. there are regulations concerning the availability of food. and we disclose the ratings in this guide. Many hotels. ambience. Also.) to hotels with special appeal. the list goes on to include requirements for elevators. following the number of rooms. Barts and French St. If you still have concerns. St.The French Star System n 265 about bathrooms? A four-star hotel must have a private bath for each room. cleanliness or beauty. soundproofing and air conditioning. while a four-star establishment must have a restaurant. A three-star place must offer breakfast room service. but a three-star property is required to have en suite bathrooms for only 80% of the rooms. You may be able to wrangle a great rate at a hotel or private villa during this time. have a look at the pictures on the hotels’ websites and read online travelers’ reviews posted through Internet chat rooms.. You’ll find them in the main heading information. but allows no subjective evaluation of quality. and shops close annually during late summer and early fall. Barts . We suggest that you base your expectations of a property on the author’s written description and on-site evaluation rather than on the official French classification. Hotels on St. French law guarantees a minimum level of facilities for each star rating. These are based on their overall allure. And.
fax 590-27-7796. % 590-27-53-13.tropical-hotel. fax 590-27-8837. 590. Barts from the US or Canada. Martin. Barth Beach Hotel. www. St. you add a 0 to the nine-digit local number (0590-xx-xx-xx). www. fax 590-27-81-74. Hillside above St.com Tom Beach Hôtel.lesislets. St. fax 590-27-53-15. % 590-27-64-78.leguanahani.emeraudeplage. www. When calling the islands from Great Britain. Jean Eden Rock. fax 590-29-83-00. Jean. hotelcarlgustaf. St. fax 590-52-24-41 Le Guanahani. St. www.com Hôtel les Islets de la Plage. www.com Anse du Grand Cul-de-Sac Hôtel les Ondines sur la Plage. Rue des Normands. Jean Beach. fax 590-27-83-09 . % 590-27-88-57. 590. so you dial 590 twice (00-590-590-xx-xx-xx). Jean Bay. Hillside above St. 590-27-60-70. Barts or from French St. tombeach. which means dialing 590 twice (011-590-590-xx-xx-xx).edenrockhotel. fax 590-27-70-70.com Hôtel Emeraude Plage. then the area code. % 590-27-61-39.lesereno. % 590-27-64-89.stbarthbeachhotel. Petite Anse. Jean Beach.villagestjeanhotel.com Le Village St. fax 590-27-83-08. % 590-27-64-87. % 877-563-7105 (US). www. fax 59027-75-57. www. Jean Beach. % 590-27-66-60. 590-29-79-99.com Tropical Hotel. fax 590-27-82-37. % 590-27-64-80. www. plus the on-island nine-digit number. plus the on-island nine-digit number. dial 00 to get international service. fax 590-27-88-58. % 590-27-69-64.com Le Sereno. www.com St. www. then the area code. dial 011 to get international service. On St. Accommodations Directory Gustavia Carl Gustaf. Jean Beach.com St.266 n Where to Stay Calling for Reservations When dialing St. % 590-29-79-00. % 888-790-5264 (US & Canada).com Around the Island Auberge de la Petite Anse. Jean Bay.
www. Baie des Flamands.com In Gustavia . Barts . % 800-810-4691 (US).In Gustavia La Banane.com Le Toiny. Anse des Cayes.lemanapany. fax 590-27-82-37 www. fax 590-27-68-44. www. Each room is decked out in exquisite furniture and opens onto a private terrace with a small dipping pool.hotelcarlgustaf. fax 590-27-75-28.net Hôtel Manapany. www. www. We’re talking Italian marble. % 800-847-4249 (in the US and Canada) or 590-27-66-55. Greek columns. Electronic amenities in the spacious high-ceilinged rooms include two satellite TVs with DVD players and computers with Internet access.isle-de-france.labanane. fax 59027-92-92. fax 800-207-8071 (from the US) or 590-27-61-26.com Hostellerie des Trois Forces.. % 866-287-8017 (US).com n 267 François Plantation Hôtel. More Vivet.com Sofitel Christopher.hotelchristopherstbarth.Carl Gustaf Rue des Normands % 590-29-79-00. www. % 590-29-80-22. % 590-27-61-25.3forces. fax 59027-89-30. www. private plunge pools. Because of its wonder- St. Colombier.francois-plantaion. fax 590-27-81-38. 590-27-63-63. % 590-52-03-00. and Shell Beach is within walking distance. this ultra-chic hotel is elegant enough for the Swedish king whose name it bears. four-star deluxe $$$$ Set in a hillside garden overlooking the town.and two-bedroom suites. Lorient Hills.hotelletoiny. 59027-61-81. www.com Hôtel St. Barth Isle de France.com 14 one. Pointe Milou. Anse de Toiny. and priceless sunset views. fax 590-27-86-83. Guests receive special rates on sightseeing outings aboard the hotel’s two cabin cruisers. % 800-278-6469 (in the US) or 590-27-88-88.
David and Jane Matthews.. thanks to new owners. Barts. Jean Beach % 877-563-7105 (US). www.tombeach. and watersports are just steps away on St.. 590-29-79-99. Barth. . and cabins. Jean beach. www.com 12 rooms.Eden Rock St. plus five new “shared-ownership” villas. Rates include a breakfast buffet. It sits on the rock promontory that juts into St. Jean Beach % 590-27-53-13. edenrockhotel. The resort is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux (recently merged with Leading Hotels of the World) and Gourmet Hotels of St. an eight-member group with outstanding chefs who promote classic French cooking. All the suites are unique. four stars $$$$ . four-star deluxe $$$$ Eden Rock was St.Tom Beach Hôtel St. A new waterside fitness center offers personal health and beauty treatments. cottages.268 n Where to Stay ful restaurant. Jean . The new shared-ownership villas are built next to the original hotel on the site of the old Filao Beach Resort.com 16 suites. airport transfers and use of watersports equipment. fax 590-27-88-37. the hotel is a member of Gourmet Hotels of St. Jean Bay midway down the powdery beach. Barts’ first hotel (six rooms in the 1950s) and is still one of its finest. The top accommodations include extras such as plunge pools and private gardens. filled with antiques. In St. fax 590-27-53-15. and feature rock-wall bathrooms.
The sound of waves breaking on the beach blocks everything else anyway. and lounge chairs. Each duplex bungalow has a small kitchenette and the villa and cottages have full kitchens. . a big bathroom with a hair dryer and thick towels. two cottages. On the beach. but only small planes go in and out during the day. where an energetic young Frenchman tends bar. and lollipop blues. Barts . Jean AUTHOR’S CHOICE n 269 You know when you walk into the quaint little lobby that you are going to have an awesome time. Out back. This Créole-style boutique hotel is painted in fire-engine reds. and all aviation ceases after dark. Jean Beach % 590-27-64-78. and a private garden patio with a hammock. sunburst yellows. which makes this a great place if you’re planning a long stay or want to eat in to save a little money. which face the beach. Jean. St. www. king-size beds and large patios.Hôtel Emeraude Plage St.com 24 bungalows.In St. All units are air conditioned and have ceiling fans. three stars $$$ You’ll be near the airport at this seaside resort. Rates include a continental breakfast and airport transfers. Each of the spacious rooms has a king-size four-poster bed. so you won’t be unduly bothered by the noise. the open-air restaurant (La Plage) extends onto the beach (some tables actually sit in the sand).emeraudeplage. four suites. one villa. the Club Eau de Mer serves breakfast and lunch daily. which makes it stand out on the main road running through St. fax 590-27-83-08. Ask for unit eight or nine. across the bridge that spans the freeform swimming pool. wet bar.
ceiling fans. fax 590-27-77-96. www. Inside. Whether you stay in one of the standard hotel rooms outfitted with twin or kingsize beds and a mini-fridge. The two-bedroom units have separate bathrooms for each of the air-conditioned bedrooms – one with twin beds. One-bedroom bungalows have a single spacious bathroom. All units have lovely teak furniture. fax 590-27-88-58 11 one. everything is sleek with teak and tile throughout. . which features a well-equipped kitchenette. and an air-conditioned sleeping area with a queen-size bed. three stars $$ We think this is among the best bargains on the island. and the quaint duplex cottages and large infinity pool (no ledge) have great sea views. two-level units with a full kitchen and private patio. even on the covered terrace. Palm trees and flowing bushes extend up the rise from the beach and surround each villa and the swimming pool. one three-bedroom villa. but you can walk downhill to the sand in a couple of minutes (going back up takes a tad longer). Jean Beach % 590-27-88-57. The Charneau family started the village during the 1950s and continue to manage the property.270 n Where to Stay Hôtel les Islets de la Plage St. Rentals are by the week. 20 cottages. It’s not on the beach.villagestjeanhotel. Jean Hillside above St. the other with a queen-size bed. . Jean Bay % 590-27-61-39. or one of the large two-bedroom. com Five rooms.Le Village St. turning first-time visitors into repeaters and friends.and two-bedroom bungalows $$$$ Adorable is the word that best sums up these colorful minivillas on the beach.
leguanahani. where you’ll enjoy a marvelous view of St. In CHOICE addition to flaunting the highest French star rating. Manager Marithe Weber and her friendly staff go out of their way to make your stay comfortable. Jean Beach. Terrazza. (The Ritz and Le Crillon in Paris. Jean n 271 you’ll enjoy the hospitality as well as the terrific pool. Tropical Hotel Hillside above St. the resort now holds the impressive Five Star Diamond Award. three stars $$ You won’t be directly on the beach if you stay here. are a few of the 105 hotels that brandish the honor. Barts . mosquito netting. four stars deluxe $$$$ AUTHOR’S The Guanahani is unquestionably magnifique. Every room is air conditioned and furnished with a TV and small refrigerator.) The hotel’s restaurant and its chef. given to only a few exceptional hotels around the world by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences for extraordinary quality of service and hospitality. but romantic. Both the sea-view and garden rooms have king-size beds draped with totally unnecessary. The accolade is not given frivolously and is one of the most coveted international titles. www. and nine of the rooms have a view of the sea from their patios. are also recognized as Five Star Diamond champions. hot tub and gourmet Italian restaurant. On Anse du Grand Cul-de-Sac .. as well as Mar a Lago in Palm Beach. A French-style continental breakfast is served pool side every morning. Jean Bay % 590-27-64-87. www.In St. St.com 21 rooms.com 75 rooms and suites. The hotel is closed annually from the first of June through mid-July. but you’ll be only about 50 yards up a steep road. Philippe Masseglia. fax 590-27-81-74.tropical-hotel. fax 590-27-70-70.Le Guanahani Grand Cul-de-Sac Beach % 590-27-66-60.
But. each painted a different tropical color and decorated in white fabrics with soft pastel accents and casual furniture made of fine woods.272 n Where to Stay So. spruced up with sculptures. arranging car rentals and sunset cruises. the pool-side café that overlooks the beach. make no mistake. In 2005. The concierge takes care of tedious little details. www. what does that mean to you.com. room service arrives promptly 24 hours a day. you can enjoy complimentary use of the lighted tennis courts and the newly renovated. When you tire of the beach. and the wooden decking around the pools lends a rustic quality. The reception area feels more like a friend’s seaside cabin than a deluxe resort’s lobby. this is a high-priced top-notch property and you get plenty of bang for your buck. Back in your cottage.spaguanahani. the guest who is spending no less than $500 a night for a primetime garden-view room? Understated indulgence. the resort manages to make every guest feel special in intimate Créole-style cottages. Barts’ standards. mon cher. % 59052-90-36. But. offering Clarins treatments and Leonor Grey hair care. plenty of lounge chairs. and a variety of free watersports. air-conditioned fitness center. serves a tropical . since Indigo. You’ll have little need to leave the property. thatched shade umbrellas. The oversized compound (75 rooms spread over 16 acres) is huge by St. the Guanahani Spa opened. New flat-screen TVs with DVD players have been placed in every room and the entire resort now has Wi-Fi Internet. The beach area is outstanding.
four stars deluxe $$$$ St. while the Bartolomeo Restaurant serves Provençal-style French dishes for dinner.com 37 suites and villas.On Anse du Grand Cul-de-Sac n 273 breakfast buffet and marvelous lunches. fax 590-27-75-47. Barts Big news on our last visit was the recent opening of the ultraluxurious Le Sereno on the site of the aging Sereno Beach Hotel. personal iPods. Each unit seems to merge with the magnificently landscaped grounds that front a 600-foot stretch of shade-dappled white-sand beach. and Wi-Fi Internet. you can simply wander the starlit paths that wind through the landscaped acres of Guanahani’s award-winning paradise.Le Sereno Grand Cul-de-Sac Beach % 590-29-83-00. The transformation is the work of a talented team lead by world-famous master designer Christian Liaigre. A new spa is in the works – it may be accepting clients by the time of your visit – and a . His minimalist style is reflected in the 37 white-walled suites and villas. bathrobes and Ex Voto Paris toiletries. In the evening. which are furnished with sleek teak furniture and outfitted with plasma-screen TVs. Beds are made with lush 300-thread-count linens and bathrooms feature thick towels. Guanahani means welcome in Arawak.. a new lounge that offers live music and DJ entertainment. you’ll be entertained at Bar’tô. www. Or.lesereno. .
open-sided restaurant overlooking the water and serving casual meals all day.St.. 590-27-60-70. this quiet little complex offers something for everyone. The recently renovated villas are large. refrigerators. Hotel rooms are small and basic. facing the lagoon. Barth Beach Hotel Grand Cul-de-Sac Beach % 888-790-5264 (US & Canada). The hotel is separated from the villas by a large beachside pool and well-equipped gym.com 36 rooms. with the same number of baths as bedrooms. Housekeeping tidies up twice a day and room service delivers around the clock.274 n Where to Stay fully-equipped health club is open and staffed with trainers. air conditioning. and free use of lounge chairs and snorkeling equipment on the beach. fax 590-52-24-41 Six suites. TVs. Should you decide to venture out for a meal. but have king-size beds. Whether you book a room or a villa. Each air-conditioned unit has a full kitchen. a discount on windsurf and scuba diving gear. Hôtel les Ondines sur la Plage Grand Cul-de-Sac Beach % 590-27-69-64. www. the casual Restaurant des Pêcheurs serves a variety of seafood and gourmet dishes throughout the day. .and two-bedroom villas $$$ Located just south of Le Sereno. two stars $$ . you’ll enjoy complimentary airport pickup. fax 590-27-7557.saintbarthbeachhotel. and a sea-view patio with a barbecue grill. Le Rivage is a covered. a TV with VCR. eight one. and doors opening onto a covered terrace with a view of the sea.
Barth Isle de France Baie des Flamands % 800-810-4691 (US). Barts . which are directly on the sand in beach-side units. and champagne are set out on a table.. From the wide beach. Nine rooms are in the main building. rum.com 33 rooms and cottages. but that’s half the price of a beach-view suite. you’ll realize the rest of the resort lives up to the view.Hôtel St. each a spacious airconditioned sanctuary with fans in the high ceilings. minimalist theme. and all the facilities of Grand Cul-de-Sac are within walking distance. a king-size bed. isle-de-france.On Anse du Grand Cul-de-Sac n 275 To stay in the $300 price range (high season). Every detail was carefully planned to suit guests who enjoy staying home. you’ll have to settle for a one-bedroom pond-view unit. 590-27-61-81. with sleek furnishings that lend a modern. with a built-in dishwasher and French-style clothes washer. so it’s a real bargain. four-star deluxe $$$$ AUTHOR’S The view of stunCHOICE ning Flamands Beach framed by white columns. along with a St. as you walk into the reception area. fax 590-27-86-83. Terra cotta tile floors in the living area and bedroom continue right out to furnished patios. Kitchens are fully equipped. www. After you recover. will take your breath away. Suites are open an sunny. a small refrigerator with complimentary drinks (bottles of cognac. Around on the Island . comfortable chairs. an array of hotel rooms and cottages spread up a landscaped hillside.
Auberge de la Petite Anse Petite Anse % 590-27-64-89. also in the main building. you’ll find a great gourmet French beach-side restaurant (La Case de l’Île). including a DVD. two bathrooms.000 square feet of space that contains two bedrooms. On the beach. The property’s open year-round. This jumbo-sized gem has two bedrooms and a living area that sprawls out to an ocean-view deck with a hot tub. Barth Isle de France one of the top hotels in the Caribbean. .276 n Where to Stay price list). offer more living area and a Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. with almost 1. The bathrooms feature double marble sinks. If you can coax yourself out of your lovely embroidered robe (provided in every room) and out onto the grounds. and a kitchenette. . The premier accommodation is the ocean-side suite. and all units have a little kitchenette. and an upscale boutique filled with fashion labels such as Calvin Klein and Fendi. Three suites. Readers of Condé-Nast Traveler magazine recently voted Hôtel St. so you can get a cottage when most everything else is closed. and a lovely cabinet filled with all types of audio/ video gadgets. a wellequipped fitness center. an outdoor garden. a tub and separate shower. a lighted tennis court. French doors open out to a furnished terrace overlooking the pool and beach. Next to the main hotel. fax 590-27-83-09 16 bungalows $$ We think this little string of cottages sitting on the rocks above Petite Anse is a good bargain. a few bungalows face the beach and others continue up the palm-studded hillside.500 square feet. and more than 1. especially off-season. At the top of the rise. two swimming pools. there are lounge chairs under green canvas umbrellas and a fantastic watersports facility. as well as hair dryers. the Fisherman’s Cottage flaunts its own interior courtyard.
Rooms are basic. satellite TVs. offering a cool breeze. and covered terraces (most have views of the water). The colorful cottages have queen-size beds made of fine mahogany. potted plants. Barts . and tropical prints. and his resort shares the same demanding standards. St. The main building is a colonial-style manor house with a large comfortable lobby decorated in dark woods.Around on the Island n 277 so you can stay in for dinner and save your money for shopping. but clean and comfortable. four stars $$$$ Owner François Beret has an impressive stack of great media reviews for his restaurant. wonderful vistas. An equally inviting furnished deck surrounds the house. .francois-plantation. and quiet spots for reading or just sitting with no agenda. where you’ll find good snorkeling around the rocks.com 12 bungalows. marble bathrooms with double sinks and a bidet. fax 800-207-8071 (from the US) or 590-27-6126. Linens are changed daily. a robe hangs near the bed. You’ll have to walk down the road to reach stairs leading to the tiny beach. and suspect that you could quite easily become used to this good life.. and wine cellar. refreshments wait in the mini-bar. La Table de Plantation. You feel right at home in these classy but informal surroundings. It sits on a hill in Colombier surrounded by lush landscaping and with fantastic views of the island and sea.François Plantation Hôtel Colombier % 590-29-80-22. and complimentary breakfast is served each morning in the garden restaurant. www.
Le Toiny Anse de Toiny % 800-278-6469 (US) or 590-27-88-88. The main building and Le Fellini Restaurant wrap around a lovely pool and deck. We can honestly sum up the resort in one word – WOW. Any one will do nicely.500 per night during season and half that in the summer).com 15 villas. Six newer apartments have more room. but every unit is air conditioned and furnished in fine dark woods. Some say it’s showing its age. four stars deluxe $$$$ For the past decade. www. and the beach is just steps away. so don’t book one if you don’t want to do a little aerobic climbing. They all have a private 10 x 20- . www. and Manapany just keeps getting better.com 32 cottages. Le Gaïac. and snooped around a bit afterwards. If you win the lottery. run immediately to the phone and book a room. fax 590-27-89-30. Le Toiny has been known as one of the priciest resorts in the Caribbean.lemanapany. We enjoyed a marvelous lunch at the pool-side restaurant. and equipped with a large TV and VCR and either a kitchenette or small refrigerator. Be aware that some of the cottages are located up the hill from the beach. fax 590-2775-28.. and repeat guests believe it’s well worth every dollar (more than $1.hotelletoiny. but style never goes out of style. Barts. four stars deluxe $$$$ Manapany has a legendary reputation as the first luxury hotel on St.278 n Where to Stay Hôtel Manapany Anse des Cayes % 800-847-4249 (US and Canada) or 590-27-66-55. .
and a well-equipped kitchenette. once you get there. the coast is rocky. you can enjoy two satellite TVs. You’ll have a short walk to Lorient Beach. but don’t let that stop you from checking in at this dynamic hotel. the water is too rough for swimming. four stars.labanane. fax 590-27-68-44. A two-level swimming pool is tucked into the landscaping. DVD.. www. Barts .La Banane Lorient Hills % 590-52-03-00. fax 590-27-92-92. 590-27-63-63.com 41 rooms. and the water is too rough for swimming. and DVD players for the TVs. A palm tree even stands on an island in the middle of the swimming pool. luxurious bathrooms.com Nine bungalows $$$$ The thing that impresses most when you first arrive is all the shade. rich mahogany furniture handcrafted in Martinique. Bungalows are secluded in thick tropical vegetation topped by towering trees. four-poster beds in oversized bedrooms. www. Bathrooms are uniquely designed with open walls onto a private garden or patio and an open-air shower. and. a tennis court and restaurant are nearby. While you’re hanging out chez vous.Around on the Island n 279 foot pool. The recently refurbished air-conditioned units have Euro-style furniture (including Italian four-poster beds). You will get all the water and sun time you need at the huge interconnected double- St. . . hotelchristopherstbarth. and a CD player. The only bummer here is that the beach at Anse de Toiny is about a 10-minute walk from the resort. a VCR. $$$$ There’s really no beach at Pointe Milou.Sofitel Christopher Pointe Milou % 866-287-8017 (US).
280 n Where to Stay oval swimming pool – the largest on the island at 4. Ginette. it doesn’t have the unique personality of the independent properties. Each room is named for and individually designed around a sign of the zodiac. Lorient is 10 minutes away by car. the staff is as friendly and hospitable as if they owned the place themselves. transformed. and Hubert will help you choose the unit that will suit you best. run this 20-year-old New Age resort with love. and they vow that you will leave their hillside retreat refreshed. Hostellerie des Trois Forces Morne Vivet (the island’s highest hill) % 590-27-61-25.500 square feet. If you must have a proper beach. However.net Seven cottages $$ Owner/chef/astrologer Hubert Delamotte and his wife.3forces. Rooms in this sprawling complex are located in two-story hillside buildings. Since Christopher is part of the Sofitel hotel chain (the luxury division of the French ACCOR group). and each nicely furnished in island-style with TVs. All . www. each with a view of the sea. mini-bars. plus patios or balconies. and the resort offers some extra frills (such as Nini Ricci bath products and a well-outfitted gym) that are usually available only at higher-priced resorts. fax 590-27-81-38. and renewed.
often with organic produce. which is surrounded by a natural-rock deck and padded lounge chairs. The menu changes and may include Châteaubriand or veal flambée. comfortably furnished with four-poster beds. Barts A llocate a large part of your St. The French believe that eating well is the key to living well. since you’ll have cooling trade winds). Don’t be surprised when your profiterole au chocolat (pastry filled with crême or ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce) arrives shaped in the form of a long-necked swan. He has been recognized twice by France’s prestigious Confrérie de la Marmite d’Or. Barts you will be paying for imported foods prepared with great care by talented European-trained chefs. but you can relax beside the lovely pool. Hubert doesn’t rush. and outfitted with hammocks on a private terrace. The rooms are in individual and attached bungalows. and vegetarian dishes are always available. and everything is prepared from scratch.to 10-minute drive away. which honors exceptional restaurants and chefs throughout the world. fine dining is rarely inexpensive. the restaurant is gourmet and outstanding. Desserts are invariably works of art.Around on the Island n 281 are air conditioned (but you may not need it. and they refuse to live any other way. If you want to prepare snacks or simple meals in your unit. Beaches are a five. ask for one with a kitchenette. Barts’ vacation budget for restaurant meals. DINING PRICE CHART $ $$ $$$ $$$$ under $15 $16-$25 $26-$35 over $35 Of course. Where to Eat St. Such meals are improved by . and each has a spectacular view of the ocean. As you would expect. and on St. Hubert is an award-winning master chef who puts so much creative spirit into his dishes that he gives soul food a whole new meaning. You should devote the entire evening to dining.
excluding drinks and service charge or tip. These include such things as sandwiches. but shorts and jeans are acceptable at most places during the day. Use the price scale on the preceding page as a guide to what a typical dinner will cost each person.282 n Where to Eat the addition of a choice bottle of wine. Realizing that your credit card and your waistline may need an occasional change from the typical rich fare. By the time you purr L’addition. Barts. As in France. salads and crêpes. French people usually leave between five and 10% as a pourboir (“for drink” in French). Even little out-of-the-way cafés take tremendous pride in serving exquisite cuisine. Créole adds a spicy . and worth every euro. your bill will be très grand. which is remedied by a small meal). Even the finest restaurants don’t require men to wear a jacket or tie. service is included in the price of the meal. Call ahead to verify seasonal time changes and closings. There are no Americanstyle fast-food joints on St. No tax is charged on meals. Cheap eats are limited to what the French call les snacks or les petits creux (creux means hollow or empty – the state of your stomach. People dress up a bit for dinner. we’ve also included a few budget-friendly cafés. whether it’s French or Créole. and resort wear is standard at even the finest restaurants. but it is customary to leave a small tip. Island Dining n n n n n You can eat as well on St. Barts as in France. Breakfast and lunch prices will be lower. followed by dessert and a steaming cup of espresso. West Indian food is typically local vegetables served with fresh seafood. pizzas. s’il vous plaît. Make dinner reservations. especially during high season.
Barts n Restaurant Directory Gustavia Dõ Brazil. the restaurant typically opens at 7 am and serves until 10 am.Restaurant Directory n 283 n n n n mix of African and Caribbean seasonings – and perhaps a slice of grilled goat. Nearly all restaurants accept major credit cards. % 590-29-06-40 Le Select. Traditional French favorites such as crêpes. Quai de la République. This pocket-sized guide is filled with good restaurant information. and cuisine gastronomique (a creative mix of French and Créole) is popular in many restaurants. dial 011 to get international service. with the exception of a few small cafés. dial 00 to get international service first. Calling for Reservations: When dialing St. Barts from the US or Canada. Pick up a free copy of Ti Gourmet at your hotel or the tourist office. Rue de Centenaire. plus the on-island nine-digit number. including hours of operation and phone numbers. and soupe à l’oignon can be found at some of the small open-air cafés. Barts or from French St. When calling the islands from Great Britain. % 590-27-86-87 La Sapotillier. restaurant hours are noon until 3 pm for lunch and 6 until 10:30 pm for dinner. 590. % 590-27-60-28 Le Repaire. Shell Beach. but features only businesses that pay to be included. Rue Courbet (Rue de la Sous-Préfecture). Rue du Général de Gaulle. then follow the above procedure. On St. quiche. St. add a 0 to the nine-digit local number (0590-xx-xx-xx). Martin. Unless noted otherwise. % 590-27-96-96 . % 590-27-72-48 La Mandala. If breakfast is served. which means dialing 590 twice (011-590590-xx-xx-xx). then the area code.
% 590-27-63-62 La Plage. % 590-27-53-13 Terrazza. Owned by Christophe Barjetta (nicknamed Boubou). fax 590-27-83-44 Grande Saline Beach Le Gommier. % 590-27-68-91 Maya’s. La Pointe. fax 590-27-97-12 Wall House.. then stay for dinner. West of Gustavia. Dõ Brazil adds South . % 590-27-70-67 Lorient K’fé Massaï. Tom Beach Hotel. fax 590-27-56-32 La Lafayette Club. Rue du Centenaire. % 590-27-75-66. Rue Jeanne d’Arc. Oasis Shopping Center. % 590-27-97-71 Anse des Cayes Chez Yvon. .Dõ Brazil Shell Beach % 590-29-06-40. % 590-27-70-77. Main Road. % 590-27-75-73 St. % 590-27-63-61. Chez Andy.dobrazil. Jean The Hideaway. Jean Hôtel. fax 590-27-54-32 Grand Cul-de-Sac La Gloriette. % 590-29-86-81 Anse des Flamands La Langouste. Barts’ main town has several excellent upscale restaurants and a couple of popular bistros where those in the know hang out and enjoy a good meal.com (in French) French and Brazilian $$$$ Lunch and dinner daily Steps lead up from the sand to the open-air dining room that offers a knock-out view of the ocean. Le Village St. % 590-27-62-51 n In Gustavia St. % 590-27-71-83 La Marine. % 590-27-62-36. a Parisian who also owns La Mandala Restaurant. Pointe Milou Hills. % 590-29-76-78 Pointe Milou Le Ti St-Barth. Try one of the Brazilian drinks as you watch the sun set. Baie des Anges Hotel.284 n Where to Eat Au Port. www. Public.
of course. You’ll have to call well in advance to get a table under the sapotillier tree (sarsparilla) that dominates the romantic patio. Still. you can get a beer or cold drink and a cheeseburger (all the sandwiches are very good) and hang out in the shady courtyard while you’re waiting for the stores to open for the afternoon. moved on to garlicky fish soup. Brazilian-style beef. but you won’t feel out of place. this ultra-casual joint is actually more like a gathering spot for locals and savvy visitors than a restaurant. La Sapotillier Rue de Centenaire % 590-27-60-28 French/Seafood $$$ Dinner daily Closed May-October and on Mondays in November and April Look for this island-style house at the end of the street by Rue du Général de Gaulle.In Gustavia n 285 American zip to French cuisine. find out about new restaurant openings. but you can also dine inside the little cottage. Activity runs non-stop Monday through Saturday from 10 am until 11 pm. Barts . Outdoor seating is our preference. and. On our visit. Monday-Saturday Said to be the inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s song. It’s also a good place to hear local gossip. Owner/chef Adam Rajner runs his small restaurant with critical attention to every detail. which wins him many repeat customers. Cheeseburger in Paradise.Le Select Rue du Général de Gaulle % 590-27-86-87 Burgers and snacks $ Lunch and dinner. You’ll find lamb with sweet spices. which was moved to the city from the quaint village of Corossol. then shared plates of perfectly prepared veal and huge shrimp. grilled Brazilian lobster. Other offerings on St. we started by nibbling a superb pâté. and perhaps get invited to a party. Most of the patrons will be speaking French. .
The dishes reminded us of those found in a typical restaurant in Provence. High beamed ceilings with fans. with lots of fruit and flowers around the glass rim. but we saw no protesters or exiles in the den on our visits. the bar and pool tables are open at Le Repaire until midnight. basically a square inside a circle. The design and concept is reflected throughout the restaurant in clever ways that incorporate Feng Shui design principles. lunch. We sat facing the marina. Le Repaire Quai de la République % 590-27-72-48 French and Créole $$ Breakfast. frog legs à la provençale. only some folks playing pool in the back. www.La Mandala Rue Courbet (Rue de la Sous-Préfecture) % 590-27-96-96. and several types of fish served with various sauces. After lingering over a glass of wine.. Everyone else seemed to be there for the well-priced food. . and we found them as delicious as those we’ve had on the French Atlantic coast. but we stuck to bottled water. the menu featured fresh mussels. The restaurant’s complete name is Le Repaire des Rebelles et des Emigrés. that serves as the Buddhist symbol of compassion and universal harmony. One evening. . which means the den. and highly recommend the apple tart. and dinner daily You can always get a good meal or refreshing drink at Le Repaire. we had dessert. peoplewatching and enjoying mahi mahi and salads.286 n Where to Eat the menu included young pigeon flown in from France. Asian furniture. If you’re in town late at night. The cocktails looked exotic.lamandala. Wind chimes. then indulged in ice cream for dessert. a personal favorite.com Asian and French $$$ Bar opens daily at 5 pm for tapas The restaurant serves dinner daily beginning at 7 pm A mandala is an Oriental design. Tall plants in huge pots.
The nightly $43 fixedprice Créole meal. Stay on for dinner. You may think that means out of date and ragged. . known as Kiki. dinner 7-9:30 pm daily Closed June 1-September 30 While it’s possible to run up a large bill at this superb restaurant. which includes wine. and chef Eric France serves generous portions to keep patrons coming back. St. is a good choice. Barts. which may include jumbo shrimp in ginger sauce. there’s really no need. The Point on the Harbor % 590-27-71-83 French and West Indies $$$ Lunch noon-2:30 pm Monday-Saturday. Prices are surprisingly moderate. and their expertise combined with whimsical ideas is a boon for St. but we ordered fish and chicken dishes – both were excellent.Wall House Gustavia. This is a Boubou creation. The dining area opens onto a lovely balcony overlooking the town. have vast experience with some top French restaurants. or chicken in peanut sauce. conch in puff pasty. but Alain Bunel and his congenial staff keep it fresh and welcoming with plants and fresh flowers.In Gustavia n 287 Make reservations for a table on the terrace and arrive before dusk so you can enjoy tapas and drinks while you watch the sun set over the harbor. Duck is prepared several ways. The menu changes to take advantage of the freshest products and showcase the chef’s talents. Barts. Barts . He and partner Olivier Megnin. He’s Christophe Barjetta. the wellknown restaurateur. Au Port Rue du Centenaire % 590-27-62-36. who owns several exotic eateries on St. curried fish. fax 590-27-97-12 French and Créole $$$ Dinner only Closed Sundays and annually July-August On the top floor of a two-story Créole-style building. Au Port claims to be the oldest restaurant on the island.
Monday-Saturday Just a short drive from town. stick to the daily prix fixe offering. . order the spit roasted chateaubriand for two. at a bit lower cost.. For a real treat. dinner 6:30-10:30 pm. because it seems everyone shows up. our favorite. which is a bargain at less than $12 for lunch and a bit below $35 at dinner. Outstanding.Maya’s Public. and overlooking the sea. try Maya’s To Go in St. especially during high season. It’s directly across from the airport and has a good selection of take-out food. just outside Gustavia % 590-27-75-73 French and Creole $$$$ Bar opens at 4 pm. The menu changes regularly. La Marine Rue Jeanne d’Arc % 590-27-68-91 Seafood $$ Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday Closed from September to mid-October We probably wouldn’t have stopped at this restaurant on La Pointe if locals hadn’t told us about the mussel feast held every Thursday and Friday. so wear your largest sunglasses to conceal your ogling. but you’ll always find a nice selection of curry and creole dishes. If you question your self-restraint. Other menu choices at this casual dock-side spot include grilled fish. The landing planes provide fantastic meal-time entertainment. or enjoy it at one of the tables out front.288 n Where to Eat especially for a harbor-side setting overseen by an award-winning chef. . lobster and grouper lasagna with tomato butter. take a leisurely look at the varied menu that includes broiled fish. Jean. and steaks. Take your meal down to the beach. Otherwise. burgers. You may be joined by some well-known personalities. Be sure to make a reservation. Maya’s is one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset. Dinner ranges from traditional French items to West Indies favorites spiced with local herbs and peppers. For a more casual meal. roasted meats and.
Taïno. % 590-2788-88. François Plantation Restaurant. % 590-29-80-22.La Plage Tom Beach Hotel % 590-27-53-13 Créole. L’Indigo. La Case de l’Île.) Restaurant des Pêcheurs. % 590-27-66-60. fax 590-27-82-37. François Plantation. Le Sereno. fax 590-27-61-26.St. Grand Cul-de-Sac. Gustavia. Most of the hotels also have more casual cafés that offer equally fine food at more moderate prices. Barth Isle de France. Anse des Flamands. Bartoloméo. fax 590-27-70-70. St. % 590-29-83-00. Pointe Milou. Eclectic $$$ Breakfast. French. fax 590-27-88-37. % 590-27-79-00. The Rock Restaurant. Prices are high. but each has a reputation for excellent cuisine prepared by a master chef (usually trained in Europe’s finest kitchens) and served in elegant surroundings. Anse de Toiny. Hôtel Sofitel Christopher. Hôtel le Toiny. Le Gaïac. fax 590-27-86-83. % 590-27-68-63. Jean n 289 The Top Hotel Restaurants The following hotel restaurants are not individually reviewed in this guide. Jean . (On the Rock’s serves tapas and splendid cocktails. The Sand Bar serves lunch on the beach. Eden Rock Hotel. St. Colombier. is a more casual restaurant serving all day. where you can start your day with fresh- . lunch and dinner served daily Tables spill out of this brilliantly decorated open-air restaurant onto the beach. Hôtel St. % 590-27-61-81. poolside at Hôtel Guanahani. % 590-29-79-99. Grand Culde-Sac. Hôtel Guanahani. Hôtel Carl Gustaf. but you expect that. Carl Gustaf Restaurant. Jean. Barts n St.
so we stopped in at lunchtime to judge for ourselves. Franco Romeao. and the bartender will start mixing your favorite drink before you have time to order. stop back in for a meal-size salad or a hearty sandwich. including pan-fried foie gras (good. Terrazza Le Village St. After a morning of watersports. dinner only on Sunday Locals told us this casual restaurant was the winner of the Best Pizza Award. even if you don’t usually care for it pâté-style) and arugulastuffed veal filet. but be assured you can’t make a poor selection. If you’re a guest of the hotel or stop by a couple of times.290 n Where to Eat squeezed orange juice and thick French toast. they are wor- . yes. France. and. His Italian specialties have been added to the menu. from Courchevel. which still turns out fragrant homemade breads to accompany every meal. and we suggest you try one of the fresh fish offerings. Expect the menu to change regularly as Romeao adds new dishes. A new chef. has taken over the kitchen. Créole dishes are the star in the evening. Jean % 590-27-63-62 Pizza. the friendly staff will know you by name. grilled meat/seafood Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Chez Andy St. We sampled four varieties. The Hideaway. Jean Hôtel % 590-27-70-67 Italian $$ Dinner Thursday-Tuesday Closed annually in September We stopped in for pizza one evening and were impressed with the ambitious menu at this indoor/outdoor hotel restaurant. salads.
Both were excellent. A large variety of dishes are listed on the menu. and large salads from various cafés in or near the Villa Créole shopping center across the main road from the bay. Our favorites include: Le Pélican. % 590-27-5388. Also try Maya’s To Go. artichoke hearts. but the table favorite was Neptune. Barts n Lorient . Kiki-é-Mo. so spend some time browsing and sipping a cool drink under the ceiling fans before you commit. Our favorite was the Vivaldi. Co-owners Pascal Vallon (everyone calls him Pinpin) and Hervé Chovet put special emphasis on .K’fé Massaï Oasis Shopping Center % 590-29-76-78 French Contemporary $$$ Dinner daily No credit cards AUTHOR’S Put this African-themed café and bar on your list. the best part. we went directly to the Hot Stone Griddle listings on the menu.. inexpensive meals in St.Lorient n 291 thy of the prize. CHOICE It’s currently one of the island’s hot spots for trendy locals. a deli with take-out and patio dining at Les Galeries de Commerce shopping center. These are complete meals with potatoes and salad plus four sauces. % 590-27-64-64. greeting patrons and accepting praise for both the laid-back atmosphere and delicious food. which came topped with ham. east of Eden Rock. If you linger long enough. you’ll probably spot the friendly English owner. mozzarella. Le Piment. St. oregano. our party of four tried Neptune (five types of seafood) and the Combo (beef. Since each dish was priced per person with a minimum of two people per order. Jean include sandwiches. % 590-27-90-65. Andy Hall. When we returned later in the week for dinner. red peppers and. duck and chicken). tomato. Casual. fried or grilled fish.
Créole. Burgers. so you’ll need a reservation most evenings. The décor features dark wood and captivating African sculpture. especially if you want to book a prime table in the torch-lit covered courtyard.292 n Where to Eat high quality at an affordable price. designed to draw you in and entice you to stay. n Pointe Milou Le Ti St-Barth Pointe Milou Hills % 590-27-97-71 Steaks. but we finally settled on pan-seared tuna and a Thai-style chicken brochette. We started with marinated peppers and zucchini stuffed with fresh goat cheese and a vegetable tartare with smoked salmon. the restaurant features three fixedprice meals. but they also offer pizza. try Le Bouchon. except that we’re chocolate fiends and went straight for the banana-spiked chocolate mousse. Both were excellent. and people dining nearby gave two thumbs up for their beef filet dinners. % 590-27-79-39. which are bargains at $34. Comfortable lounge areas open onto a lush garden. and we give them four stars for succeeding. Each evening. and custom-designed tables and chairs add to the ethnic ambience of the dining room. K’fé Massaï serves matchless nouveauFrench cuisine with Asian and Caribbean accents. in the same shopping center as K’fe Massai. it’s the intriguing food that will keep you coming back for more. Eclectic $$$$ Dinner daily 7:30-11 pm. Full-moon parties and outlandish theme nights draw a huge crowd. fries and salads are the best bet. Dessert would have been a difficult decision. Open daily 11 am-10 pm. Fresh French bread was already on the table. this wild and crazy restaurant is a favorite with the young and untamed. All the main courses sounded delicious. A . bar open at 7 pm Billing itself as a Caribbean tavern. Still. Excellent choice. Tip: For a quick lunch or light dinner. $47 and $68.
Most restaurants close annually for several weeks and curtail serving hours during the low season. A great mix of lively music was playing. n Anse des Cayes Chez Yvon Main Road % 590-29-86-81 Creole $$ Lunch and dinner daily Check out the daily special (plat du jour) that’s written on a board beside the menu posted outside the front door. such as boeuf bourguignonne. who own the colorful Tom Beach Hotel and its eclectic La Plage restaurant. Barts . so we weren’t surprised when people began dancing on the tables.Anse des Cayes n 293 surly-faced pirate is the mascot (probably famous Barth-bad-boy. prepared with a Caribbean twist. On the night we stopped in (after navigating up the steep cliffhanger road to the top of the hill overlooking Pointe Milou). as well as snail cassoulet and crayfish fricassée. Always call ahead to verify hours of operation. and vanilla rum flowed freely. and crêpes. quiche. are the masterminds behind Ti’s overwhelming success. You’ll likely find a French favorite. prime rib for two was the big seller. St. The main menu features salads. Thierry DeBadereau and Carole Gruson. but the ambitious menu also offered seafood and chicken. Montbars the Exterminator) and the décor could be straight off a buccaneer-movie set.
and it was this type of vessel that transported the islands’ earliest inhabitants throughout the Caribbean. and French $$$ Lunch and dinner served daily during high season Closed Mondays from April 15-December 15 Closed the month of September Langouste is the French word for spiny lobster. Owner/chef Maryse Chinon and his efficient staff offer good service.294 n Where to Eat n Anse des Flamands La Langouste Baie des Anges Hotel % 590-27-63-61. so we recommend you give special attention to the seafood selections. . and the stuffed crab has a lot of zing. We think the set-price Créole menu is a particularly good value. and you’ll have a view from your table of lavish yachts moored in the cove. fax 590-27-83-44 Seafood. and a nice wine list. Créole. n Grande Saline Beach . Interior decorations reflect a nautical theme. fax 590-27-54-32 Creole $$$ Dinner served daily during high season. delicious food. The open-air garden restaurant named after this boat is near the parking lot at Saline Beach. The lobster salad made with fresh grapefruit is a mouthtingling treat on a warm day.Le Gommier Grande Saline Beach % 590-27-70-77. closed Mondays during low season A gommier is a boat carved out of a single tree trunk. It features such things as shrimp flambéed in aged rum and conch smothered in a spicy West Indies sauce.
Barts is considerably quieter than on St. and only a few hotels offer evening entertainment. n Grand Cul-de-Sac St. Martin. and the food is well-presented and delicious. It’s worth it. and several types of fish. Other choices include grilled meats.La Gloriette Grand Cul-de-Sac % 590-27-75-66. which is surprising because it’s so plain-Jane simple. Seafood is a good pick. Albert.La Lafayette Club Grand Cul-de-Sac Beach % 590-27-62-51 French and Créole $$$$ Lunch and dinner daily. One of the best deals is the three-course French dinner.Grand Cul-de-Sac n 295 . the owner. The huge lobster salad is large enough for dinner. Be sure to try the goat cheese salad – it’s one of our favorites.. . Try it for lunch. but you may want to try one of the other choices as a starter (we suggest the foie gras) and save your appetite for the main dishes. and we especially liked the grilled chicken served with a luscious sauce. Owners Nadine and George Labau are from Toulouse and know a thing or two about French cuisine. Thursday-Tuesday Many people say this is their favorite restaurant on St. fax 590-27-56-32 Seafood and Créole $$ Lunch and dinner. closed May-October Splurge on this one. being French. is a legend. Barts Nightlife N ightlife on St. Barts. we suspect. Intentionally so. Of course. to highlight the fabulous lagoon views outside the windows. even that is more along the lines of . Nearby Cocoloba is an outdoor sandwich and barbecue spot run by the Gloriette owners. priced at less than $40. most of the main courses are paired with some type of unusual topping or magnificent sauce. Service is exceptionally smooth. stuffed crab. There are no casinos or movie theaters. and he oversees the entire operation.
Join in by ordering a drink and settling in at one of the tables scattered under the trees in the graveled courtyard. . this may not be the island for you. During high season. Join in by ordering a drink and settling back at one of the tables scattered uner the trees in the graveled courtyard.296 n Nightlife piano music. If you need a lot of all-night action. This isn’t a late-night spot. and many restaurant bars stay open after dinner hours. rather than disco or a full-production floor show. % 590-29-74-09. you may find as many celebrities seated in the audience as on stage. % 590-2786-87. since the bar closes at 11 pm. since the bar closes at 11 pm. still call Select “Cheeseburgers in Paradise. also on the Gustavia harbor. Locals enjoy drinks and conversation Monday through Saturday at Le Select on the corner of Rue de la France and Rue du Général de Gaulle. You can check out their schedule of entertainment in the free weeklies or online at www. but prices are low. and it’s a great place to meet people. a block inland from the Gustavia harbor. but still closes at 11 pm. It’s right across from the harbor on Rue de la République.bazbar. Bête à Z’ailes. Le Journal de St. Diagonally across the road. Barth. Saint-Barth Weekly and Ti-Gourmet. However. out of long habit. Some. and it’s a great place to meet people. You can find out about theme nights and visiting entertainers performing at trendy clubs by browsing through the free publications. Bar de l’Oubli is a bit more chic.” the alleged inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s famous song. This isn’t a late-night spot. but prices are low. there are a few lively hot spots. % 590-27-70-06. is known as a sushi/martini/wine bar that hosts great live music shows. especially during the winter tourist season.com.
St. Nikki Beach St. including La Plage at Tom Beach Hotel. It’s open until 2 or 3 am. Boulevard du Bord de Mer. the club plays music. you can order from the list that includes bottles from every region. % 590-27-62-62. In the village of Lurin. % 590-2788-67. including the latest international hits. Zanzibarth. % 590-2764-64. Gustavia. . Galeries du Commerce. % 590-27-53-00. Also try La Santa Fe. live music and dancing begins around 10 am at Feeling. Jean has a couple of popular night spots with scheduled entertainment. Banque Française Commerciale. If you like French wine. and Nikki Beach. % 590-27-53-13. % 590-27-65-88. Rue du Général de Gaulle. Around 10 pm. % 590-2761-04. Look for it on Rue du Centenaire. St.Grand Cul-de-Sac n 297 Bar de l’Escale is a waterside lounge with super bartenders who make a wide variety of drinks. Call ahead to find out who’s playing. and patrons dance until 2 or 3 am. % 590-27-70-70. Gustavia. Banque Française Commerciale. Jean. % 590-27-86-07. Barts Island Facts & Numbers AIRPORT CODE: SBH AREA CODE: 590 (see Telephone below). ATMS & BANKS: Banque National de Paris. Bar’tô at the Guanahani Hotel in Grand Cul-de-Sac features guest entertainers and lounge music.
% 59029-44-19. Medical Emergency. % 596-70-92-92. Police. ELECTRICITY: 220 V-60 Hz (products made for use in North America require a current transformer and plug converter. 7:30 am-5:30 pm. in French. Le News and L’Essentiel are French dailies. Police. Lorient. Main Road near Galleries du Commerce. PHARMACIES: Pharmacie St. For non-emergencies: Fire. 7:30 am-5 pm. and Saturday. Pharmacie de . Sea Rescue. cultural events and happy hours. EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Fire. GAS STATIONS: St. % 590-27-66-13. % 590-27-11-70. Monday-Friday. Both list current events and local happenings. and Saint-Barth Weekly. 7:30 am-5 pm. those made for use in Europe may run hot). % 590-27-62-30. CREDIT CARDS: Widely accepted by most businesses. Jean. LAND AREA: Eight square miles. while L’Essentiel offers expanded international stories. across from the ferry dock). % 590-27-61-82 (in Gustavia. are free weekly publications. but ask before you shop if the credit card symbol is not displayed in the window. % 590-27-50-50. NEWSPAPER: Le Journal de Saint Barth. but the US dollar is accepted in most places. Monday-Saturday. Barth. CAPITAL: Gustavia. in English. It runs from 9-1 am daily. % 18 (do not dial 0 first). LANGUAGE: French. Main road. Hospital. Doctor on call. with Le News featuring condensed news from France. HIGHEST POINT: Morne du Vitet at 938 feet. many residents also speak English.298 n Island Facts & Numbers BUS: Mini-bus service is provided by Le Shuttle throughout the island for i10 roundtrip. % 590-27-60-35. Look for a complimentary copy of Ti-Gourmet Saint-Barth to find restaurant reviews and information about evening entertainment. MONEY: Euro. % 590-27-76-03.
5:30 pm Saturday and 8 am Sunday.) POPULATION: Approximately 7. % 590-27-75-81 (airport) or 590-27-66-31 (Gustavia). 100. % 590-27-60-62. and confirm whether the rate is quoted per trip or per passenger.Island Facts & Numbers n 299 L’Aéroport. but don’t expect the driver to have change for large-denomination bills. Jean). Unless the driver overcharges. US dollars and euros are accepted. % 59027-74-74. Gustavia and Main Road. 50% is added to the base fare from midnight to 7 am. which is an Overseas Region of France. Main Road. corner of Rue Fahlberg and Rue Jeanne d’Arc. 103. Jeanne. Daytime rates apply from 7 am to 9 pm. RELIGIOUS SERVICES: Catholic. % 590-29-02-12 (in St. such as from the airport to major hotels. Tip a little extra if the driver gives information about the island as you travel or helps you with your luggage (50¢ to $1 per bag is standard. POLITICAL STATUS: The island is politically tied to the island of Guadeloupe. If your destination isn’t listed. which lists authorized fares between many common destinations. Island Pharmacie. An additional 25% is added to the base fare from 9 until midnight. TAXIS: Taxis are plentiful at the airport and ferry docks. % 590-27-61-60. POST OFFICES: Gustavia. Anglican. Gustavia.3 FM. Ask to see it.000. St. % 590-27-89-44. St. plan to add at least a 10% tip to the fare. 9 am Sunday. Galeries du Commerce. call for the schedule). Gustavia (call for the schedule). Drivers are licensed by the government and carry a published rate sheet. Lorient. negotiate a price before you get into the cab. RADIO STATIONS: Radio Saint-Barth. Lorient (services at each church on alternating weeks. % 590-27-62-62. Rue Courbet. is rude. % 590-27-61-08.7 FM. (For more details. Barts . or takes you out of your way. Taxi Dispatch. % 590-27-66-61 (across from the airport). Radio Transat. depending on the size and weight of each piece). page 31. see The 20th Century.
com. dial 00 + 1 + area code + local number. plus the on-island nine-digit number. but require a telephone card. to call the US or Canada. So. or convenience store. East Caribbean Cellular covers St. n To call an island or country not in the overseas French system or in the Netherlands Antilles. . Barts from the US or Canada. you must add a 0 to the nine-digit local number. Barts from Great Britain. to call French St.300 n Island Facts & Numbers TELEPHONE: n You must add a 0 to the beginning of each number when you dial locally. www. When calling St. which can be purchased at a post office. Martin. which means dialing 590 twice (011590-590-xx-xx-xx). Barts and St. dial 00 + 44 + the number. n Cell phones are a good idea. then follow the above procedure. dial 00 + area code + local number. dial 00 to get international service. % 599-542-2100. n You will find all country codes listed along with long-distance rates in the TELEDOM phone directory that’s available at all hotels. As an example. to call Dutch St. Martin.eastcaribbeancellular. n Within the overseas French system. dial 00. Barts to an island in the Netherlands Antilles. n When dialing St. Example: 0590-xx-xxxx. especially if you plan to make a lot of calls back home or to neighboring islands. so. dial 0590-xx-xx-xx. then the area code. TELEPHONE CARDS: Most public phones are not coinoperated. 590. dial 011 to get international service. then the country code + area code + the local number. n To call out from St. To call anywhere in Great Britain. Some phones accept major credit cards. gas station. dial 00 + 599 + xxx-xxxx. Martin.
St. it’s four hours behind England and five hour behind western Europe in the winter. firstname.lastname@example.org. Failing to leave a tip does nothing to correct the problem. in the winter. harbor side. During the summer months. In Canada French Government Tourist Office. www. TIME: St. NY 10022. St. Barts .com and www.sbhonline.frenchcaribbean.gotostbarths. % 590-27-87-27. www. year-round average high is 86°F. but most people prefer bottled water. 8:30 am-12:30 pm and 2:30-5:30 pm.com.com.com.com. Barts. Saturday. Barts is on Atlantic Standard Time and doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time. TIPPING IN RESTAURANTS: On St. Québec QU H3A 2W0. % 514-2884264. 16th Floor. as in France. fax 590-27-74-47.francetourism. New York.. You might also want to check www.ammann@mdlfr.St-Barths. fax 514-844-8901. www. WEBSITES: www. open Monday-Friday. WATER: It’s safe to drink. tell the manager or owner of the restaurant. a service charge is added to the price of each item on the menu. 1981 Avenue McGill College. Ste 490.saint-barths. Most people leave an additional five-10% on the table for the server. If service is poor.com. 9:30-11:30 am. located at Rue de la République. Montreal. In the US French Government Tourist Office. Drinking water is rainfall collected in cisterns or desalinated sea water. valerie.com is the official Tourist Office site. Barts’ time is five hours behind England and six hours behind France and the rest of Western Europe during the summer. % 212-838-7800.Island Facts & Numbers n 301 TELEPHONE OPERATOR: % 12. since the service charge is divided among all employees. island time is one hour ahead. island time is the same as Eastern Daylight Time. which is readily available. TOURIST OFFICE: Office Municipal du Tourisme de SaintBarthèlemy. fax 212838-7855. 444 Madison Avenue. TEMPERATURE RANGE: Year-round average low is 72°F.
Many restaurants and resorts offer laptop access. there were plans to install Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Gustavia. Le Square. Le Select. Villa Créole and Le Flamboyant Tennis Club. Kiki-e-Mo. . L’Oasis Shopping Center. including Do Brasil.302 n Island Facts & Numbers Wi-Fi: As this guide went to print.
Pelican Key. 210 Beaches: St. St. 264-65. 279-80. tipping. St. 284-89. 236 Climate. 195. Grand Cul-de-Sac Beach. St. 199. dining. 27677. Barts. 243-46. 99 Corossol. 266. 297. 41 Boating. St. 221-23. 176-78. 278. beaches. 17286. 211. 51 Airlines/airports: overview. telephones. Burgeaux Bay. Orient Bay. Petite Anse. 289. 186. Pointe Milou. See Mini-vans/mini-buses C Car rentals: overview. 163. Barts. 248. French Side. rating systems. 189. 283. 208-9 Churches: Gustavia. St. 27576. St. 195-99. 166-67. 161. Barts. St. Grande Saline Beach. Philipsburg. 24. 170-71. 294. 299 ATMs & banks: overview. 209. 179-81. See ATMs and banks Bastille Day. Simpson Bay. Martin. Martin. 240. Grand Case. Lorient Hills. St. Martin. Barts. Marigot. private villas. Barts: Anse des Cayes. 169. 266-67. Barts. 52. Oyster Pond. 44. 297 Atlantic Standard Time. 38-39 Casinos. See also Sailing: St. 261-63. 37 Bureau of Consular Affairs. private villas. 20-22 Currency. 297. timeshare. 215. reservations. Maho Bay. St. 172-73. 128-29 Boubou’s Music Festival. Little Bay Beach. St. Martin. 178. 162. Pointe Milou. Barts: Anse des Cayes. 290-91. top hotel restaurants. Martin: Baie Longue.Index A Accommodations: St. 52. 176. hiking. 46-48 Cruise ships. Martin: directories. 297. 296-97. Gustavia. 295. 171-72. Anse des Flamands. 5-7. 211 Dining: St. St. 189-95. 277-78. 215. Barts: accommodations. 245. overview. Jean. 181-83. St. 60-62. 187- B Banks. resorts and hotels. 75-76. 301. 174-75. resorts and hotels. Cupecoy Beach. Baie Nettlé. Lorient. rating systems. directories. Marigot Bay. 81. directories. St. overview. 293. overview. 263-64. 26768. Martin. Anse des Toiny. 280-81. directories. 207-8 Colombier. 159-60 Adapters. 164. 167-68. Martin. 104-21 Biking. 62-63 Cuisine. 36 . 34. 184. 233. 162-63. 283-84. 141 Birds. Baie des Flamands. Barts: accommodations. 278-79. 240-41 Credit cards: St. 293 Area codes. 294. 268-71. 23. St. 170. Martin. Grande Culde-Sac. Grand Case. St. 15-17 Birth certificates. 158-59. 53 Crime. St. 183-84. Barts. Colombier. 292. 213. 173-74. 279. 45 Buses. Mullet Bay. Martin. St. 64-65. Dutch side. 298 Customs. 209 Anse des Cayes. 161-72. Martin. 78-80 Carnival. 160-61. 225-27. 185-86. 15658. Gustavia. 48-49. Barts. Jean. 281-83. 16869. Barts. 271-75. 49-50. St. 277. 299 Clubs and bars: St. Morne Vivet. 164-66. reservations. Lorient. 42-43 D Departure tax. 293. 278. 161-62. St.
57 F Falaise aux Oiseaux (Cliff of the Birds). St. 212-13. Martin. 60. 4 Golf. Martin. dining. 271-75.304 n Index 61. 201-5. St. Barts. St. 189-95. shopping. 251. St. 244. St. Barthélemy. Martin. 284-89. Philipsburg. 101 Language. 51. Barts. See Accommodations Hurricanes. 14-15 Ferries. Barts. 20. 230-35 89. 76. St. 3339 Fête de Saint-Barthélemy. 123-24 Hiking: St. 50 I Ile Fourchue. 292. 96-98 Grand Cul-de-Sac. 236-37 Loterie Farm. 255-56. 199-201. 7-13 Forts: Gustavia. 37 Fishing: St. 253-55. beaches. 131-32 Flora. 59-60 Diving and snorkeling: St. Simpson Bay. Barts: accommodations. St. Martin. 43-44 H Health issues. 44-46 Heineken Regatta. sightseeing. 90 Gustavia. St. tipping. Martin. 230. trip cancellation. 234. 209 Limousine services. 76 Festivals. 40-42 Drugs. 219-21. St. Martin. 238-39 Ilet Pinel. 114-15. 297 M Manchineel trees. St. dining. 179-81. Philipsburg. 5-7 E Ecology. Martin. 96 K Kiteboarding: St. 249-51. Barts. 248-49. walking tour. tourist office. St. 244. St. Barts. 88-89 Grand Case. 132-38 Documents: marriage. travel. Barts. 257-58. beaches. 236 L’Espérance Airport. shopping. Barts: accommodations. 44 G Geography. 56. 42 Duty-free goods. 143 Government buildings: Gustavia. Martin. non-refundable tickets. Martin: accommodations. 251-52. lost luggage. St. walking tour. St. dining. 82. 259- L La Ferme des Papillons (The Butterfly Farm). 58. medical. dining. Martin. nightlife. 176. St. 58 International Student Travel Card. beaches. St. 298 Le Manoir de St. 77 Lorient. 99 Fauna. 231. See Festivals and events Exchange rates. map. overview. 121-23 Know Before You Go (pamphlet). 247-48. 57. 6667. 267-68. 138-39 Hotels. 232. Martin. 279. 296. 139-41 History: overrview. Martin. 297 Events. 20 Immigration cards. holidays and events. St. Marigot. 3-4 Electricity. St. 224. See Festivals. 76 Insurance: agencies. 97-98. 212. Barts. 297 Guavaberries. 72-74 Holidays. St. 119-20 Illegal immigrants. Barts. inter-island: overview. 58. 103-4 Lurin. St. 59. 242-43. Barts. nightlife. nightlife. 9 . 13 Guavaberry Emporium. Martin. St. 53 Disabled travelers. holidays and events Horseback riding: St. 215-16 Directory assistance. Martin. Barts: accommodations. 25-31. 256. 295.
See Dining S Safety issues. 213. 184. 76-77. area code. 75-76. walking tour. Martin. St. 94-95. 63-64 Passports. 227. dining. 253-61. Barts. Philipsburg. map. electricity. 91-96 Marine life. St. 219-21. St. St. Barts. St. 297 Mosquitoes. 17-19 Medical Advisory Services for Travelers Abroad (MASTA). St. St. 297. 251. 86. Barts. 298. 35 St. 251-52. highest point. 173-74 Reservations. 168-69. 297. 46 Motorcycles: St. 247-48. 249-51. 213 Philipsburg. Port Royale. airlines/airports. Martin. 297. 209. Martin. 195-99. 221-23. jet skiing. Martin: accommodations. map. Martin. 186. 74 Nightlife: St. 164-66. Barts: accommodations. boating. hiking. 7-13 Pointe Milou. 279-80. horseback riding. 199-201. 37 Scooters: St. 201-5 SMX Challenge. 50-51 Mini-vans/mini-buses: overview. diving and snorkeling. 46 Metric conversions. 59-60 St. kiteboarding. Martin. tourist office. dining. 227. Martin. Gustavia. dining. Martin. 301. St. beaches. St. 41 Plant life. 46-48 Sailing. emergency numbers. St.Index Marigot. St. 249-51. ATM’s and banks. Orient Beach. government. 109-10. 281-95. Martin. 298. St. land area. deep-sea fishing. 241. St. 162-63. Martin. 248. 122 Snorkeling: St. 118. Martin. 31. shopping. 24647. beaches. best beaches. 53 Photo ID’s. 228-43. 20 Netherlands Antilles. 295-97. St. Barts. N Nationalities. history. gas stations. 26181. 123-27 Saint Martin Day/Concordia Day. credit cards. 185-86. 105 O Orient Bay. language. 221-22 R Rainfall. dining. St. 9394. currency. St. St. 5 Ratings: author’s evaluations. 60. 252-53. 80 Mount Vernon Plantation. St. 21-24 n 305 Population. 66. Martin. Barth Festival of Caribbean Cinema. 90-91 Music. 298. Martin: accommodations. walking tour. 105-7 P Package vacations. St. 67. 19-20 Pharmacies: St. Barts. 227. 104. 297. 233-34. Martin. Martin: accommodations. parking. Martin. Barts. 293 . 143-56 Sightseeing: St. 171-72. 298. Barts: accommodations. 55 Restaurants. 298. Barts. Martin: accommodations. 152-56. shopping. 161. map. 298. Martin. 206-9 Nude beaches. 300. St. 176-78. 221. 132-38 Special needs travelers. 80 Shopping: St. 85-91 Phone cards. Barts. 297. Barts. 92. 181-83. 264-65. 224-25. 87. 298 Princess Juliana International Airport. 298. 16768. Marigot. 210-11. 248-49. capital. 102. Atlantic Standard Time. 102 Museums: Corossol. 83-104 Simpson Bay. dining. excercise facilities and spas. drinking water. 19-20. St. 145-52. 95. 297. 40-41 People and nationalities. 24346.
46 . 157. water skiing. post office. 252. best beaches. 301. 212. 72. 235 St. taxi tours. area codes. 224. 247-48. St. worth a visit. cell phones. religious services. dining. population. 213. 301. tourist offices. 228. St. 216. shopping. 142 Timeshares. 22427. 214-15 Temperatures. 213. sightseeing. wireless hotspots. departure taxes. 261. 131-32. dining. motorboat trips and rentals. Martin. walking tours. 101-2 St. 301 Tourist seasons. weddings. 213. organized tours. 212. 299. walking tours. boardsurfing. 121. 215. drinking water. 246-47. 300. 123-27. group sightseeing tours. natural reserves. 212-13. airlines/airports. 214-15. Martin. 268-71. water toys. taxis. 206-9. St. surfing. Barts. 297. St. population. St. 211. 81-83. 51 218. 216. 216. 256. tennis. 64-67. in- T Taxis: overview. transportation. 215. websites. 13941. 213. 210-11 Travel agents. 128-29. biking. 228-29.306 n Index ternet. 213. currency. 290-91. capitals. ATM’s and banks. Martin. transportation. 300. Martin. tipping. sightseeing. 212. 143. 211. water taxis. golf. 129-31. electricity. radio stations. 22728. 217. 247-48. 21112. tennis. 121-23 Surge protectors. 121-23. tourist offices. North Coast. 55-56 12-Meter Challenge. 301 St. highest point. 215. 54-55. tipping. 210. Barts’ Airport. top temptations. 253-61. temperature. telephones. Barts. 1014 Sunburn/sunstroke. 7677. 299-300. St. 210-11. 299-300. 298. 212. St. Martin. telephones. St. 33 Transportation: overview. 214. post offices. 138-39. 47-48 Tintamarre. 6971. newspapers. Martin: accommodations. 70-71. 215. 72-74. pharmacies. 213. land area. 224-27. 83-84. pharmacies. taxis. driving tips. 241-43. taxi tours. 215. language. 53 Telephones: overview. 120-21 Topography. 300 Tennis: St. 34 St. 259. Barts: accommodations. 142. 298. government. 213. Maarten Zoological & Botanical Park: St. emergency numbers. 4 Tourist information offices. beaches. 230-35. 85-98. 212. 5-7. sailing. Atlantic Standard Time. 52-53. Barts. 46 Surfing: St. 15686. driving tours-island highlights. 78. 213-14 TELCard. 244. horseback riding. 143-56. 213-14. 209. shopping. websites. dress. 60. sightseeing. 98-101. 21516. 53 Télécarte. Barts International Music Festival. 216. 74-75. 65. 211. 141. 252. nightlife. 83. 211. 77. 222-23 St. 83104. telephone cards. deep-sea fishing. French-Dutch split. nightlife. map and map key. Barts. Barts. nightlife. credit cards. mini-buses. 298. 10421. 228-43. telephone cards. hiking. temperature. diving and snorkeling. 211. overview. wireless hotspots. 299. shopping. radio stations. newspapers. Southeastern Coast. 299. 209. 297. windsurfing and kiteboarding. salespeople. weddings. 301. 132-38. overview. 235-39. 298. 295-97. 217-19. St. 75-76. Jean. Martin. 24. 187-205. 257. 298. 225. 7677. 127 U US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. top temptations.
299 Websites. 81-83 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.Index n 307 V Victor Schoelcher Day. 45. 216. 14-15 Windsurfing. 211. 5-7. 40 Wildlife. The (St. 301 Weddings: St. 36 W Washing Machine. drinking. St. Barts. 215. 46 . 227-28. 121-23 World Health Organization. St. Martin. 243 Water. 301 Weather. Martin. Barts).
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